View the February 20, 2009 UPDATE to this post here.
UPDATE – See the February 9, 2009 UPDATE to this post here.
As the Senate works on its version of the Economic Stimulus Bill, CongressDaily is reporting the following amendments to the House version of the bill.
Reduce HIT Spending – So far, a reduction of the amount of HIT spending and incentives has not been attacked in the Senate. Good news for those of us who work within and touch HIT.
Health Care Disparities – In an effort to eliminate healthcare disparites, this amendment would require that electronic health records collect information on race, ethnicity and gender.
Health Privacy Violations – Changes would allow state attorneys general to file class-action lawsuits against violators of federal health privacy laws, and prohibit states from hiring outside lawyers on a contingency basis to ensure that damages collected are returned to taxpayers.
Data Breach Notification – Changes are aimed at closing loopholes that would in many cases prevent consumers from knowing if their medical information has been improperly accessed.
Quality Initiatives – An amendment that would exempt quality initiatives, such as disease management and care coordination efforts, from a provision that requires the HHS secretary to issue new health care operations rules.
So, thus far, all good news in terms of maintaining substantial funding for HIT. This happens to be the objective that I care about most right now–a good chunk of HIT spending that is cemented into the final bill. We can worry about the peskier of details later, in my opinion.