Archive for Thursday, June 14, 2007

Congressional briefing: Moore — Privacy ‘paramount’ in shift to electronic health records

June 14, 2007

Here are today's headlines from the Kansas congressional delegation:

Sen. Pat Roberts (R)

(Jackson Hole Star-Tribune) Some may pick up Thomas bills: Colleagues of the late Sen. Craig Thomas, R-Wyo., will champion some of the most prominent legislation he sponsored this year, but other efforts of his now face less certain fates. Several senators banded together to rename a rural health bill after Thomas and plan to introduce it today. Sens. Kent Conrad, D-N.D., Pat Roberts, R-Kan., and Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, will introduce the Craig Thomas Rural Hospital and Provider Equity (R-HoPE) Act. They were scheduled to introduce the bill last week, but upon Thomas's death, they delayed introduction and renamed it in his honor. The bill is similar to legislation that Thomas sponsored in the last Congress. The Senate Rural Health Caucus, which Thomas co-chaired, is promoting the bill. Several other senators have signed on.

Rep. Dennis Moore (D)

(UPI) Analysis: Health IT's privacy factor: A piece of legislation in the House proposes the formation of independent third-party trusts to compile complete, personal electronic health records. Government would monitor the trusts, which could be both for-profit and non-profit entities, and grant accreditation only to secure operations, said Rep. Dennis Moore, R-Kan., (sic) the author of the Independent Health Record Act. "Patient privacy has to be paramount," he said. "The patient should be in total control here as far as who sees his or her records." In addition, joining a trust would be voluntary. "Persons would have the option of signing up for an account to be managed by a health record trust similar to how banks operate credit card accounts," Moore said.

Congressional briefing appears semi-regularly, Monday through Friday. If you've seen a news story or other blog entry about the Kansas Congressional delegation that we've missed, do let us know.

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