Federal bill would create HIT 'trusts'

A Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives has introduced a bill to create a national health information technology network. The model relies on a concept known as a "trust," under which intermediaries would manage the security, privacy and confidentiality of health information, rather than providers or government agencies. The bill has 35 sponsors representing both Republicans and Democrats. Under the terms of the bill, patients would not only own their records, but would have the ability to restrict who seems them; for example, they could block their cardiologist from seeing their mental health history. Physicians and providers would have a limited opportunity to earn more from transactions paid for and authorized by the patient.

A number of independent organizations are backing the bill, too, including the Progressive Policy Institute, Patient Safety Institute and the group Patient Privacy Rights, which has been particularly vocal on the subject of patient control of medical records. Interestingly, the bill is also backed by EMR giant Cerner, which says the bill will give patients more control over their healthcare.

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

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