• Senate Approves Bill to Improve Electronic Health Care System
  • March 8, 2016 | Author: Cindy M. Amedee
  • Law Firm: Taylor, Porter, Brooks & Phillips, L.L.P. - Baton Rouge Office
  • Reported by BNA Bloomberg, “Senate Committee Approves Health IT Bill” reports news that the Senate HELP Committee approved The Improving Health IT Act that creates a star rating program for federally certified electronic health record systems and directs federal regulators to address hospitals' ongoing issue with matching patients to their electronic health records and electronically exchanging patient records with other health-care providers. The bill is part of a slate of bills that make up the Senate's version of the 21st Century Cures bill (H.R. 6) that passed the House last July.

    Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) called the bill an “important and far-reaching piece of legislation.” The HELP Committee expects to approve more than 30 bills by April that together will act as a companion to the House's Cures bill, Alexander said.

    The bill comes on the heels of an NBC News report that last year health care record hacking increased 11,000 percent as roughly one out of every three Americans had their health care records compromised and there were approximately 100 million health care records stolen last year. Criminals can use health care records to order prescriptions, pay for treatments and surgery and even file false tax returns.

    Health information sharing, and the rules and regulations of software, licensing and technology issues, are important issues to our health care clients, and these issues are coming to the forefront as more is being done to try to curb record hacking with the advances of technology.