Legislation calls for healthcare IT trusts

A bill introduced in the House today would create healthcare information technology trusts. Rep. Dennis Moore, a Democrat who represents the Third District in Kansas, introduced the legislation that would establish a nationwide health information technology network. Under the Independent Health Record Trust Act, individuals would have the option of submitting their medical records to be managed electronically by health record trusts. In turn, these trusts would ensure the security, confidentiality and privacy of the medical information.
“Health information technology has the potential to dramatically improve the quality of healthcare for all Americans by significantly reducing medical errors, reducing wasteful administrative costs, and ensuring that appropriate and accurate information is available for medical decisions,” Moore said. “I believe that there is no better way to transition the medical community from paper-based medical records than by adopting independent health record trusts.”
Rep. Paul Ryan, a Republican representing the First District in Wisconsin, and 33 bipartisan colleagues joined Moore in introducing the bill in the House.
Moore said the bill has garnered the support of a large coalition of healthcare and public policy organizations, including the Progressive Policy Institute, Patient Safety Institute, Patient Privacy Rights, National Alliance of Hispanic Health and the Heritage Foundation.
“This act is truly historic,” Deborah Peel, MD, founder and chair of Patient Privacy Rights, said. “It marks the very first time that Congress has recognized the need to develop new laws to protect and strengthen Americans’ long-standing Constitutional rights and liberties in the digital age.”
{The Independent Health Record Trust Act will create the first and only data bank for medical records that cannot be data mined, because patients control all access to their records. This is historic—it is the first piece of federal legislation that establishes a safe and private patient-controlled data bank and establishes a federal right to health privacy. Unfortunately, the bipartisan legislation recently introduced in the Senate does not contain privacy protections, despite what this story reports. ~ Dr. Deborah Peel, Patient Privacy Rights

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