Stark Readies I.T. Legislation

Rep. Pete Stark (D-Calif.) expects soon to introduce new health information technology legislation in the U.S. House.

The bill would build on the proposed PRO(TECH)T Act, H.R. 6357, from the Energy and Commerce Committee and already under House consideration.

Stark is chair of the Ways and Means health subcommittee. The new legislation would retain about 70% of H.R. 6357, according to a summary of a Sept. 12 meeting between members of the HIMSS Electronic Health Records Vendors Association and Ways and Means staff. Provisions in a draft of the bill include:


* Maintaining most of H.R. 6357’s provisions on privacy and security, but specifying that the accounting requirement would apply only to disclosure of information stored in an electronic health records system.

* Increasing penalties for violations of the HIPAA privacy rule and requiring a Government Accountability Office study on the “minimum necessary” standard for disclosing information.

* Authorizing state attorneys general to file lawsuits to enforce the privacy rule.

Discussions between the Ways and Means and Energy and Commerce Committees are under way over whether health I.T. legislation could reach the House floor during the rest of the congressional session this year, according to the summary.

Source – Health Data Management

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