Health IT Law Addresses Interoperability, Privacy, Security and Deployment of Electronic Health Records

The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel

The article discusses The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH), signed into law by President Barack Obama as part of The American Economic Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. HITECH provides $19 billion and aims to improve healthcare delivery to patients by reducing medical errors, driving down costs, and giving patients greater information about, and control over, their medical records. The new law brings together a wide range of issues and stakeholders in healthcare, information technology, and the government to jump-start widespread adoption of electronic health records. The article covers how the law may remove some of the existing technical barriers and resolve privacy and data security concerns that have limited the adoption of health IT across the United States to date. Topics of discussion include the establishment of a charter for health IT policy priorities in the U.S., HITECH funding, coordination of technical standards and securing privacy and data security controls in electronic health records.