Congress considering new HIT promotion bill

Two members of the U.S. House of Representatives introduced a new bill this week intended to accelerate the adoption of healthcare IT. The sponsors of the bill, the Promotion of Health Information Technology Act, include Reps. Anna Eshoo (D-CA) and Mike Rogers (R-MI). To foster HIT adoption, the bill would provide HIT adoption grants and loans to providers, as well as handing out money to state and local governments to use in fostering HIT use locally. The bill would also set a date for establishing interoperability standards for health data sharing. If the measure passes, the federal government would have to abide by these standards.

Frankly, I don't think this bill is huge news in and of itself. For one thing, it doesn't look like there are any brand new tricks here. Besides, insiders say it's unlikely that the bill will pass this year. Still, the fact that HIT adoption is becoming a major buzzword on the Hill should eventually generate some action, so it's worth keeping an eye on measures like these nonetheless. Even if they don't pass, they're like to be a template for future Congressional action.

To find out more about the bill:
- read this Healthcare IT News piece

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