House Panel Bill Will Develop Health IT Standards
The House Science and Technology Committee on Wednesday by voice vote approved a bill (HR 2406) that would require the National Institute of Standards and Technology to develop or adopt standards for health care information technology for federal agencies within one year, CQ Today reports.
Before approval of the legislation, the committee by voice vote passed a manager's amendment that would authorize $8 billion in fiscal years 2008 and 2009 to fund research grants for health care IT, which includes electronic prescribing, electronic health records and billing, and communication of medical information between health insurers and providers (Armstrong, CQ Today, 10/24).
The bill would require NIST to establish a Healthcare Information Enterprise Integration Initiative -- with help from federal agencies, and the health care and IT industries -- that would research health care IT standards. In addition, the legislation would require NIST, with help from the National Science Foundation, to establish a grant program for universities that partner with companies, not-for-profit organizations and federal laboratories to establish the Centers for Healthcare Information Enterprise Integration (Leonatti, CongressDaily, 10/25).
Bill sponsor and committee Chair Bart Gordon (D-Tenn.) said, "Our health care system is hampered by outdated paper record keeping" (CQ Today, 10/24). He added that the legislation could reduce health care costs by billions of dollars through improved quality and a reduction in medical errors (CongressDaily, 10/25).
Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view the entire Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report, search the archives. The Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. 2007 Advisory Board Company and Kaiser Family Foundation. All rights reserved.