Trying to make sense of health IT bill maze
The government is all a flutter with multiple legislative health IT related efforts that have been put forth, some by some political heavyweights. HIMSS (Health Imformaton and Management Systems Society) has created a 'Health IT Legislative Crosswalk' to help sort out seven bills based on the various attributes and priorities of each.
HIMSS has given its stamp of approval to four of the bills, including the Murphy-Kennedy 21st Century Health Information Act of 2005 (H.R. 2234), the Jeffords proposed bill Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act of 2005 (S. 544), the Stabenow-Snowe bill The Health Information Technology Act of 2005 (S. 1227), and finally the Frist-Clinton Health Technology Enhance Quality Act of 2005 (S. 1262). The other three bills have yet to receive the organization's endorsement.
All of the bills, with the exception of the Frist-Clinton effort, have been referred to committee.
Each bill, HIMSS says, promotes standards adoption with the Frist-Clinton bill creating mandatory federal programs which would be voluntary in the private sector.
Of the lot, only the Frist-Clinton bill proposes an advisory body for the development of standards.
All seven highlighted bills also promote interoperability, with the exception of the McHugh-Conzalez bill National Health Information Incentive Act of 2005.
In general, the bills use an assortment of funding strategies from loans, to grants, to completely new funding to help pay for the efforts.

To see the complete crosswalk comparison, please visit the HIMSS website at: