Bill would lead to federal privacy standard for IT

HHS would recommend to Congress a single federal privacy standard to promote electronic medical records and e-prescribing, replacing state and federal laws, under legislation introduced by Rep. Nancy Johnson (R-Conn.). The bill also would set up a certification process to ensure health information technologies meet interoperability standards; direct HHS to revamp its 30-year-old diagnosis coding system; and require the HHS secretary to report to Congress within two years on the progress of the American Health Information Community initiative to develop a national strategic plan to implement a health IT infrastructure.

Earlier this month, the federal government proposed relaxing rules to allow hospitals and doctors to share IT hardware, software and training. Johnson’s bill would codify that effort.

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