EHR bill would mandate federal usage

Last week, legislation introduced on Capitol Hill to promote the usage of EHRs showed some political muscle and could end up as part of a pilot project included in the healthcare IT bill now under debate, according to industry experts. While its chances of passing this year are considered slim, it could pop up again in 2007. Senators Tom Carper (D-DE) and George Voinovich (R-OH) introduced the legislation that would require insurance carriers that work with the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program to make an EHR available for all enrollees.

This is worth watching in part because what government does can sway the private market big time. If the bill goes anywhere, it would mean enrollees could log on to the Internet to access their EHRs and track medications and immunization records, among other things.

For more on EHRs:
- check out this article from HealthcareIT News