Legislation Update

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New bills look to protect against identity theft

A number of lawmakers have introduced bills focused on bolstering governmental security practices to protect highly sensitive personal information. One such bill (S 3506) sets out to prohibit unauthorized users from removing or using personal information contained within a Federal database.

Another House bill (HR 5588) is directed at Veterans Affairs and would require the agency to quickly notify veterans if security is breached. In the case of a breach, the VA would be required to provide veterans with credit reports.

Yet another (S 3514) would limit the display on the internet of anything but the last 4 digits of social security numbers by State and local entities.

Finally, a House bill (H.R.5582) would require agencies on the Federal level to disclose instances where personal information has been obtained in an unauthorized fashion.

Bill to develop standards, ease anti-kickback regs delayed

The House Energy and Commerce and Ways and Means committees voted in favor of two versions of the same health IT related bill (HR 4157). The bill sets out to empower the HHS’s Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT to oversee standards for storing medical related data and standards development relating to interoperability in a timely fashion. However, the bill has been put on hold over concerns that it could increase overall federal spending and decrease revenues.

The Ways and Means approved bill provides a “Safe Harbor” within Stark and anti-kickback laws so that healthcare facilities can more easily provide physicians with technology and support.