Report Checks Progress on Network Recommendations

A progress report examines action taken on the 14 recommendations set last year by the Commission on Systemic Interoperability to establish a national health information network, Health Data Management reports. HHS has "acted to some degree" on eight of the recommendations, but Congress has not acted on any, according to the report by the National Alliance for Health IT.

HHS this summer issued final rules on the commission's recommendation to amend current law to allow hospitals and others to donate IT and related services to physicians. Congress, however, did not pass legislation that contained more comprehensive revisions.

The commission urged HHS to implement or seek Congressional authorization to implement financial incentives for adopting "standards-based IT," which currently is in the stalled legislation. The group also called for encouraging private-sector health care payers and employers to provide similar incentives, but little progress has been made, Health Data Management reports.

In addition, Congress has not authorized HHS to develop national standards for determining patient authentication and identity via a national patient identifier or other method as recommended by the commission (Health Data Management, 10/31).

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