Meaningful Use and Certification of Health Information Technology: What About Safety?
Case Western Reserve University School of Law
Case Western Reserve University
October 25, 2010
Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics Supplement, Vol. 77, Spring 2011
Case Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2010-34
Health information technology (HIT) is becoming increasingly prevalent in medical offices and facilities. Like President George W. Bush before him, President Obama announced a plan to computerize all Americans’ medical records by 2014. Computerization is certain to transform American health care, but to ensure that its benefits outweigh its risks, the federal government must provide appropriate oversight.
President Obama’s stimulus legislation, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), dedicated $27 billion to the promotion of health information technology. It provides payments of up to $44,000 per clinician under the Medicare incentive program and $63,750 per clinician under the Medicaid program.
In the summer of 2010, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) published three sets of regulations to implement ARRA. This article briefly describes and critiques the regulations, arguing that (1) they fail to appropriately address HIT safety and (2) further steps must be taken to protect patients and serve public health needs in the new digital era.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 5
Keywords: Health information technology (HIT), Electronic health records, National Health Information Network, regulation, “Meaningful Use,” certification criteria, electronic medical records, certification bodies
JEL Classification: K23, K32
Date posted: October 26, 2010 ; Last revised: February 5, 2014
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