Stimulus bill includes protection for digital health care records

Dan Kaplan reports:

A portion of the $818 billion stimulus bill that was passed this week by the U.S. House calls for computerizing all health records in five years, but the legislation also contains stringent privacy and security controls to protect this online data.

Experts said these measures would complement the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), approved in 1996, by bringing privacy and security regulations more in line with the digital age. That’s an important move, considering the digitization of health records is likely to spur increased attempts at malicious intrusion.

Part of the stimulus bill dealing with new health information technology includes provisions for breach notification, enforcement, audit trails and encryption. It also prohibits the sale of medical information.

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