Patrick Kennedy: EHR legislation on hold till 2006

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Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-R.I.) last week indicated that the ever-evolving health IT-related legislation he has put forth in conjunction with a bi-partisan group of his peers, namely Tim Murphy (R-Pa.), is more likely to be passed sometime next year. The legislation is an effort to boost electronic health records (EHRs) and other information technologies in healthcare which can reduce costs and help prevent medical errors.  
   
Kennedy, who spoke at a National Chamber Foundation conference, said that though he is pressing Congress to move on the legislation sooner rather than later, believes that realistically the most that will probably be done is to get approval for a smaller bill focused on formalizing some of the efforts currently being undertaken by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT.