Health IT Bill Passed With Amendments
The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health on Thursday approved by voice vote a bill (HR 4157) that would promote the use of health care information technology, CQ Today reports (Schuler, CQ Today, 6/8).
The legislation, sponsored by Reps. Nancy Johnson (R-Conn.) and Nathan Deal (R-Ga.), would codify the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology within HHS and would establish a committee to make recommendations on national standards for medical data storage and develop a permanent structure to govern national interoperability standards.
The bill also would clarify that current medical privacy laws apply to data stored or transmitted electronically (California Healthline, 6/8).
Prior to approval, the subcommittee approved a substitute amendment sponsored by Deal that removed two provisions from the legislation. The provisions would have increased the number of diagnosis and procedure codes from 24,000 to more than 200,000 and would have allowed federal medical privacy laws to pre-empt state laws (CQ Today, 6/8).
The subcommittee also approved an amendment sponsored by Rep. Diana DeGette (D-Colo.) that would require a study on the effect of the bill on the health care system (Povich, CongressDaily, 6/9). The full committee plans to consider the legislation on June 13, Deal said (CQ Today, 6/8).