House committee clears healthcare IT bill

The House Science and Technology Committee has cleared a bill aimed at boosting the role of information technology in healthcare. The legislation also charges the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) with establishing a program on healthcare information enterprise integration.

It is standards work that is already under way under the purview of HITSP, the Healthcare Information Technology Standards Panel, which is part of the federal American Health Information Community.

HITSP Chairman John Halamka, MD, said he recently met with the author of the bill, Michael Quear, and it was clear that “the same collaborative relationship between HITSP and NIST that we have today would persist.”

H.R. 2406, to authorize the National Institute of Standards and Technology to increase its efforts in support of the integration of the healthcare information enterprise in the U.S. , was introduced by Committee Chairman Bart Gordon (D-TN).

{“The new House bill, HR 2406, which cleared the Science and Technology Committee is another legislative attempt to encourge the use of technology in healthcare. But it totally fails the Americans people because it does not restore our rights to conttrol who sees or uses our personal health information. This bill ensures that our health data can be exchanged, but does not ensure that we can prevent unfettered access to personal health information for unwanted or discriminatory uses. This bill serves the interests of data theives, not patients’ need to have their privacy rights restored. Without privacy, health technology will fail because consumers will avoid going to doctors, will lie and omit critical data, and get no care or bad quality care. Privacy rights are essential and must be guaranteed in all electronic health systems or people will not be willing to go see doctors.” ~Dr. Deborah Peel, Patient Privacy Rights}

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