Washington Journal of Law, Technology & Arts


Laura Dunlop


President George W. Bush's administration has outlined initial necessary steps to transform the healthcare delivery system through adoption of interoperable electronic health records ("EHRs") by the year 2014. This Article examines the nation's shift toward the use of EHR technology, which largely facilitates patient care by providing clinicians with the ability to review a more complete medical record at the time of treatment. Current legislation calls for financial support and technical standards. However, lawmakers neglect to fully address the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act ("HIPAA") and the need to expand its application and enforcement. In addition, healthcare provider Anti-Kickback and physician self-referral statutes may continue to deter electronic connectivity progress in healthcare, despite recently finalized safe harbor regulations. The Article concludes that while lawmakers have demonstrated strong support for the health information technology ("HIT") initiatives, significant challenges remain to EHR adoption, including the lack of interoperability standards, financial obstacles, and privacy and security concerns.

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