Sunday, February 21, 2010

State Bills Address HIT

Recently, several bills were introduced in state legislatures to improve health information technology efficiency, to provide system interoperability, to help implement state plans, and provide assistance to healthcare facilities and providers to buy only certified products.

Mississippi has several bills under consideration. State Representative Daniel Stephen Holland introduced (MS HB 1423) to establish the Health Information Technology Act. This legislation would make it necessary for all agencies in the state involved in delivering or providing health information technology services to coordinate their efforts with several other state agencies, nonprofit corporations, and with federally funded agencies to avoid wasteful spending of state funds.

State agencies would be required to do a survey geographically in order to analyze state needs and resources available before releasing requests for proposals. Electronic health records, telemedicine, electronic prescribing, and other forms of HIT are to be included. State Senator Hob Bryan introduced companion bill (MS SB 2842). The bills have been referred to the Public Health and Human Services Committee.

Mississippi State Senator W. Briggs Hopson III and Representative Holland have introduced two bills (MS SB 2842) and (MS HB 1423) to establish the Mississippi Health Information Network (M-hin) that will give power to the Board of Directors to govern and also establish rights for individuals when sending data through the system.

In New Jersey, State Assemblyman Herbert C. Conway Jr. M.D introduced (NJ AB 1986) to establish the Electronic Health Information Technology Fund (e-HIT). The fund would be established in the Department of Banking and Insurance to provide for guaranteed funding to support the implementation of the state IT plan.

The plan would be administered by the Office for e-HIT with revenues collected through a reinvestment fee. The Office for e-HIT would be responsible to look for grants or funding available from the federal government, corporations, foundations, or other private sources.

Assemblyman Conway also introduced (NJ AB 1924) to insure that healthcare facilities and providers can acquire products that have been certified by the Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology (CCHIT) or any other entity that is approved by the federal government.