Sure, you've already been hearing pronouncements from President Bush for a while, and without a doubt, they'll reverberate over time. But next year may be the first year that Congress gets involved in earnest. Observers say that while some health IT measures got stuck on the Hill in 2006, in the coming year legislators are likely to see health IT as a priority. With the private sector signaling that it's more than ready for health IT change, supporting data-driven initiatives such as PHRs, EMRs and pay-for-performance schemes, legislators have gotten the message that the market is ready to move. Democrats are less than enthusiastic about creating exceptions to Stark law and anti-kickback rules to foster health IT development--something a current House bill would have done--but otherwise, ripe for bipartisan action as they're ever going to be. Look for Democrats to push hard for attention to interoperability and strong health IT privacy protection measures, insiders say.
Find out more about the health IT regulatory climate:
- read this Government HealthIT article