States ask for healthcare IT privacy clarification
In order to adopt a comprehensive healthcare information technology strategy in the United States, the State Alliance for e-Health called upon the federal government to provide statutory and regulatory requirements relating to healthcare privacy, which will also help states overcome language variations of their health policies.

The plea stemmed from an alliance meeting held in Burlington, Vt. on August 15, 2007, which identified a need for a turnaround of policy discussions about health information privacy as it relates to using electronic medical records on networks.

"The technological solutions are there," said Sallie Hunt, co-chair of the health information protection task force and chief privacy officer of the West Virginia Health Care Authority. "It's this policy and legal piece that we have got to sort out" before health IT can be deployed nationwide, she added.

William Hacker, another co-chair of the task force, pointed out that the discrepancies among states in security protocols of IT systems are also hindering a nationwide adoption.

Based on task force recommendations, the alliance agreed to work with the federal government to change certain federal laws and regulations and to reduce the inconsistency of state privacy requirements.