Industry News Briefs from the Web

By Caroline Broder
12:00 AM

Kennedy, privacy groups call for stronger privacy protections

Rep. Patrick Kennedy plans to introduce legislation that would establish a set of minimum standards to protect the privacy of electronic health information. Kennedy said most healthcare IT legislation currently before Congress does not go far enough to protect patient privacy. Date: 04/05/06

Study: EHRs influence delivery of clinical care

The introduction of electronic health records into physician practices can have several intended and unintended effects on clinical encounters, a new study of four physician practices found. Researchers found that cost concerns played a role in whether doctors typed or dictated office visit notes into the EHR. Most doctors said EHR notes were concise but lacked the depth of narrated notes. DATE: 03/29/06

United States lags other nations on care quality

Despite spending more per capita on care, the United States ranks last on several key healthcare measures, two surveys of patients in six nations found. The U.S. healthcare system ranked last on patient safety, efficiency, equality and its ability to focus on a patient’s needs, according to the Commonwealth Fund surveys. DATE:  04/04/06

Certification panel urges EHR test fees

The Certification Commission for Health Information Technology has proposed a one-time application fee for vendors of $25,000 to $35,000, which would be valid for three years. The annual certification fee would cost .25 percent of annual revenues from the sale of a certified healthcare IT product. This would cost anywhere from a minimum of $5,000 to a maximum of $75,000 annually, CCHIT proposed in March. Date: 04/01/06

Senate approves reserve fund for healthcare IT

The Senate last week approved a reserve fund for healthcare information technology as part of its fiscal year 2007 budget resolution. The move would allow Congress to pass a healthcare IT bill this year that provides money for related projects. The Senate last year proposed a reserve fund for healthcare information technology, but it was not included in the HHS appropriations budget. DATE: 03/21/06