Health Information Technology Promotion Act. Currently, America’s health care system lags behind other sectors in adopting information systems. Each year,
Americans spend nearly $5.4 billion on duplicate, unnecessary tests due to a
lack of medical history and records. The Health Information Technology Promotion
Act (H.R. 4157) will help remedy this problem by providing for an interoperable
health information technology that allows patients and physicians to access medical history and records stored electronically in a secure, comprehensive database. H.R. 4157 also includes the following provisions:
- Provides a national framework for the implementation and widespread
dissemination of interoperable health information technology.
- Provides grants for the use of health information technology to coordinate
care among the uninsured and to implement technology in small physician
- Promotes common-sense cooperation between doctors and hospitals by allowing
persons and entities to provide physicians with hardware, software,
training, or IT support services.
- Updates diagnosis coding systems for the digital age and provides an
expedited process for updating standards.
- Promotes greater commonality among state and federal security and
confidentiality laws and regulations in order to better protect and
strengthen the exchange of health information.
A 2005 study by the RAND Corporation states that improvements in health
IT could save the nation as much as $162 billion in annual medical costs.
Implementing interoperable health information technology will help prevent
medical and prescription errors, reduce costly duplicate tests, eliminate
medical record losses, and significantly improve medical care and the
treatment of chronic illnesses.
UPDATE II: Here's a better explanation, from a couple of knowledgeable JW attorneys.