Lawmaker introduces bill prohibiting MU penalties, HIE participation

Virginia state senator Stephen Martin (R) introduced a bill (SB 1275) in the state Senate against the Meaningful Use incentive program, health information exchanges, and other health IT initiatives. The bill, filed Jan. 14, included language that:

  • Prohibits any person that regularly stores medical data in an electronic format from participating in the establishment or implementation of the Nationwide Health Information Network or performing any analytics regarding medical records from multiple patients for medical diagnosis or treatment, including population health management;
  • Limits storage or maintenance of medical data to no more than 10,000 patients;
  • Protects health care providers who don't implement online EHR by not allowing penalties or sanctions for such failure or refusal to do so;
  • Prohibits the state from authorizing the establishment or operation of a health information exchange (HIE);
  • Presumes that patient consent to the sharing of his health information shall not grant consent to electronic storing or transmission of the information to anyone other than for health care coverage.

The bill was referred to the Committee on Education and Health and "passed by indefinitely" by that Committee Jan. 24 by a vote of 13-2.

This is not the first time Republican lawmakers have challenged health IT initiatives. Federal House and Senate Republicans have called for the suspension of the Meaningful Use program this past autumn, citing lack of standards and interoperability.

Virginia established an HIE--which includes providers, health plans and state agencies--in 2009.

 To learn more:
- here's the bill