MEDICAL RECORDS: AHIMA Convention Addresses HIPAA Concerns
During the 2000 American Health Information Management Association's 72nd Annual National Convention and Exhibit last month in Chicago, keynote speaker Bruce Fried, an eHealth legal expert from the Washington, D.C.- based law firm Shaw Pittman and former director of HCFA's Office of Managed Care, addressed the HIPAA- driven changes that information technology will have on the health care industry. Noting that the health care industry has been "slow to invest in information technology," Fried warned that the industry will be "unprepared" for the impact technology will have on physicians, patients and insurers. Fried said, "A whole new business is being created through ehealth. Patients will be better armed with more information, and doctors will have access to more information through online medical records." He added, "[T]he healthcare industry must have the capacity to handle the charges wrought by the ehealth revolution." Fried noted that digital record keeping was one way to "fully utilize" available information and pointed to Madison Information Technologies Inc. as one of the companies developing programs to switch from paper to digital records. Madison President Jim Bodenbender said, "As health care organizations struggle to meet operational standards and HIPAA standards, they are realizing that technology and the Internet are in fact investments that will significantly improve the way they conduct business." He added, "For years, health care organizations have had volumes of information that they haven't been able to effectively utilize" (Madison Information Technologies release, 10/17).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.