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HIT Legislation Passes Senate Health Committee

Chairman Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-Wash.) recently announced that the Senate health committee has unanimously passed bipartisan legislation that will improve HIT.

"Our goal is to make our country's electronic health record system something that helps patients rather than something that doctors and hospitals dread so much that patients are not helped. We have worked for months—with input from those who actually use the system—to help improve health information technology and I'm glad to see this legislation move forward as part of a successful first meeting on our committee's bipartisan biomedical innovation agenda," Alexander says.

"If we want to continue building a health care system that works for patients and families and puts their needs first, strengthening our nation's health IT infrastructure must be a top priority. I'm pleased that with this legislation, Democrats and Republicans have been able to reach agreement on policies that will help empower patients and providers with more and better information to help drive treatment and improve health outcomes," Murray says.

The Improving Health Information Technology Act (S. 2511) which recently passed the Senate health committee is the product of a bipartisan, full committee HIT working group announced by Alexander and Murray in April—as well as a series of six bipartisan hearings in the committee. The committee released a discussion draft of the legislation on January 20 which was open for comment until January 29. The final version of this legislation was released on February 7 and introduced in the Senate on February 8.

Source: US Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions