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National E-Health Records System Still Faces Obstacles

The idea of electronic medical records sounds great: Everything a patient needs her doctors and pharmacist and insurance company to know, all in one place and easily accessible from just about anywhere. But substantial hurdles must still be cleared before the idea will become reality nationwide.

HITECH Privacy Rules Released

The Department of Health and Human Services released a notice of proposed rulemaking, yesterday, on the privacy requirements mandated by the HITECH Act. The rule includes provisions to extend privacy and security requirements to business associates, to prohibit the sale of personal health information without consent, to expand individual rights to access their information and to restrict its disclosure to health plans.

Use of Health Information Technology Leads to Improved Care Quality

According to a recent study by Kaiser Permanente, patient-physician e-mail messaging improves the effectiveness of care for those suffering from diabetes and hypertension. The study was published in the July issue of Health Affairs.

Hoffman on digitization of medical records: "It’s inevitable and it’s a good thing"

Katherine Hobson of The Wall Street Journal’s Health Blog and Sharona Hoffman, a professor of law and bioethics and co-director of the Law-Medicine Center at the Case Western Reserve University School of Law, recently discussed the transition to digital medical records and the potential benefits and risks associated with establishing such a program.

Broadband investments to boost 900 healthcare facilities

On July 2, President Obama announced a $795 million government program that will help rural areas gain broadband access. 900 healthcare facilities stand to benefit from this program. The program supports 66 Recovery Act programs and is expected to initially create 5,000 jobs and spur future economic growth in many of these communities.

HIT Coalition Hosts Briefing with Local D.C Clinics to Discuss Real Impact of HIT

The Health IT Now! Coalition hosted a briefing this afternoon on Capitol Hill discussing the benefits and difficulties of Health IT implementation. To talk about their experiences with the adoption of Health IT were healthcare providers D.C. Primary Care Association, the Whitman-Walker Clinic, and Bread for the City.

$220 Million awarded for Beacon Program

On May 4, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, Chief Economist to Vice President Biden Jared Bernstein and National Coordinator for Health Information Technology David Blumenthal announced today $220 million for 15 Beacon Community awardees to help spur widespread adoption of health IT.

Kennedy and Murphy Introduce HIT Extension Bill

The co-chairs of the 21st Century Health Care Caucus, Congressman Patrick Kennedy (D-RI) and Tim Murphy (R-PA) recently introduced legislation to expand incentives for the meaningful use of electronic health records from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Report: strategies to save states money as Medicaid is expanded

United Health Group issued a report that outlines strategies that will help states save money as Medicaid is expanded. The new federal health care reform and the growing number of seniors enrolling in Medicaid is causing the expansion and pressure on state budgets.

Dennis Quaid: Reducing Medical Errors

On April 12, Dennis Quaid spoke at an event at the National Press Club in Washington DC about reducing medical errors. Quaid announced that he has produced a documentary airing April 24th on the Discovery Channel called “Chasing Zero” about medical errors in America.

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