HITECH Act – Making Health Accessible

HITECH could be the acronym for Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health. On the 17th of February, 2009, American President Barack Obama had approved a $789 billion economic stimulus package in the law, formally termed as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, or ARRA. HITECH provides $19.2 billion in stimulus money to health care institutions and individual physicians who manifest a meaningful technique Electronic Health Record technology.

A study reveals that 4 away from 10 doctors, in reality, are utilizing the Electronic Health Record technology. But if we talk with the ones that are bringing the iconic technology into meaningful utilization in its full potential, the score is even lower, 2 away from those 4 who are using this technology. The main motive of the HITECH Act is always to encourage a minimum of 90% of the world’s total doctors to implement the Electronic Medical Record technology inside their work-field, as an alternative to spending half of their period in paperwork.

Using paper information means a primary boost in the potential risk of unlawful access owing to several human factor risks. Naming several, these are:

  • Leaving the papers on a desk
  • Leaving the information over a printer or facsimile
  • Leaving the data somewhere on view where it’s rather a victim of some unlawful intentions
  • Leaving the papers in cabinets or drawers, and forgetting to lock those
  • Spilling out a patient’s medical information if working over a shared work-station

Not being damaged completely, because of some working disorders inside the dumpster, or another factor

The main five impacts of following the HITECH Act can be:

  • Fall within the occurrence of medical errors
  • Rise within the quality of health care
  • Fall within the medical costs
  • Rise in security and confidentiality from the patient
  • More lives will be saved

This Act of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act imposes more rigorous regulative prerequisites beneath the privacy and security rules of HIPAA, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996. Besides, this Act has risen the civil penalties for violating the HIPAA rules. HITECH Act provides sponsorship for hospitals and physicians for the implementation of Electronic Health Record technology, and it is required to notify the patients of the security or privacy breach. This wide spectrum with the requirements necessitates abidance with the medical units covered inside the Act.

A fundamental necessity demanded by HITECH Act is always to notify the individuals and HHS if the unsecured or unencrypted protected health information of a patient “maybe, or possibly reasonably believed… to possess been accessed, acquired, or disclosed because of such breach.” If this breach has impacted more than 500 individuals, media outlets enable you to notify.

The privacy and security requirements in the HITECH Act include:

a. The addressed units must attend to a patient’s request to deduct PHI coming from a health plan if he has paid for the medical treatment.

b. The addressed units must restrain the use or revelation of PHI with a ‘limited data set’

c. If a patient requests, the addressed units must provide patients with a tracking account of all revelations of PHI made inside the last 3 years.

d. The addressed units might not get a payment for talking with the patients for marketing purposes unless the sufferer is authorized.

e. The employees from the addressed units will likely be liable with a criminal penalty if they knowingly access, use, or reveal a patient’s PHI for unlawful intentions.

f. The civil penalties for violating under HIPAA are raised, depending on the demeanor. However, the penalties for your wilful violation with the conventions could be imposed with the govt.

The HITECH Act relates to the covered entities including medical institutions like hospitals, medical providers, health plans, vendors, colleagues, Regional Health Information Organizations (RHIOs), Health Information Exchanges (HIEs), and Personal Health Records (PHRs). In case an entity desires to be employed in accordance using the HITECH Act, the followings are recommended:

Development and execution of your Red Flag Rules Compliance Program

Development and execution of a Breach Notification Compliance Program

Inspection and rectification with the existing business associate agreements, and conclusion in case a home-based business associate agreement is needed

Strategizing and positioning oneself to secure a loan and grand sponsorship over the stimulus

Assurance that this technology is certified by CCHIT

Undoubtedly, the HITECT Act continues to be of much use at this point, and there is still a major share with the doctors in the practice that’s yet to join up because of this Act. But once accorded, there will be no stopping back, as the health care industry works only on two factors- the physician’s expertise, and the individual’s trust. The HITECH Act takes care of the ‘Trust’ factor.