ByÂ Matt Cover, Staff Writer
(CNSNews.com) â€“ Dr. David Blumenthal,Â the Obama administration’sÂ National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, said on TuesdayÂ that patients can choose to omit procedures such as abortions and positive HIV tests from the electronic health records (EHR) that every American is supposed to have by 2014 under the terms ofÂ the economic stimulus lawÂ that President Barack Obama signed last year.
Blumenthal’s office, a subdivision of the Department of Health and Human Services,Â was created by the stimulus law specificallyÂ to generate the standards and regulations that will govern the federally mandated use of EHRs.
SectionÂ 3001 of theÂ stimulus law chargesÂ the NationalÂ Coordinator for Health Information TechnologyÂ with overseeingÂ the “development of aÂ nationwide health information technology infrastructure that allows forÂ the electronic use and exchange of information” that, among other things, “reduces health care costs resulting from inefficiency,Â medical errors, inappropriate care, duplicative care, andÂ incomplete information” and “provides appropriate information to help guide medicalÂ decisions at the time and place of care.”
The law requires Blumenthal’s office to set “specificÂ objectives, milestones, and metrics with respect to theÂ following: (i) The electronic exchange and use ofÂ health information and the enterprise integrationÂ of such information. (ii) The utilization of an electronic healthÂ record for each person in the United States byÂ 2014.”
In order to getÂ hospitals, doctors andÂ other health care providers to comply with the creation of EHRs for “each person in the United States by 2014,” the stimulus law provided for federal bonusÂ payments to be made to providers who generate records complying with the federalÂ standards by 2014.Â Health care providers that do not useÂ EHRs that meet the federal standards by 2014 will haveÂ theirÂ Medicare andÂ Medicaid payments progressively diminished as a penalty for failureÂ to comply.
To read more, visit:http://cnsnews.com/news/article/69743
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