Thursday, October 09, 2008

HR 6898: The Health-e Information Technology Act of 2008

Jen McCabe Gorman at Health Management RX brought attention to a new House of Representative Bill (HR 6898) focused on electronic health information introduced in the 110th Congress by Congressman Pete Stark. The bill was introduced on September 15, 2008, and is currently referred out to committee.

Jen provides some great analysis and brainstorming on the impact of the draft bill in her post, "Breaking News: Congress Wants to Create National eHealthNetwork, Legislate Who Owns Health Data." Well worth a read for anyone interested in health information technology, electronic health information, personal health records, health 2.0 or the future of our health care system.

Jen highlights those sections dealing with who owns the electronic health information. Should it be the government? the provider? the consumer? This key legal concept - ownership of health information -- is a key question to discuss and debate. As I have mentioned in the past (here and here) the consumer health movement may force a change in the traditional legal notion of health information ownership rights.

The draft bill also addresses a variety of other areas - including the regulation of non-covered entities under HIPAA (many of which weren't even contemplated when HIPAA was enacted) who create or handle health information, codification of ONCHIT under HHS and empowering them with various tasks, creating Medicare related incentives for adoption and modifying other sections of the current HIPAA privacy standards. I haven't had a chance to read through the full bill and spend time reading the related materials but look forward to further analyzing.

For more information about HR 6898 (The Health-e Information Technology Act of 2008) check out Congressman Stark's website information about the legislation:
To locate the current status of the bill check out Thomas. I suspect that there will be little movement on the bill this Congressional session - but it does give insight into what might be coming down the road.

1 comment:

Jen McCabe Gorman said...

Bob -

Thanks so much for bringing more attention to this bill draft.

The more healthcare blogging minds tackling the topic the better!

Best -
JMG