House moves forward with health IT promotion bill

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A House subcommittee focused on health issues yesterday approved a bill (HR 4157) designed to boost health IT usage nationally through privacy standards and EHRs (electronic health records).

To meet its goal, the bill would establish a committee within the HHS for the purpose of providing guidance relating to national standards for medical data storage and interoperability.

The bill would also mandate that a privacy standard be created that would iron out differences between state and federal laws relating to stored data or information that is transmitted digitally. The HSS secretary would oversee this process.           

Regarding billing codes, the bill would increase the number of codes available to providers for insurance claims from 24,000 to 200,000 by the latter half of 2009.