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Congressman Introduces mHealth Friendly Bill

December 4, 2012
by Gabriel Perna
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Congressman Mike Honda (D-Calif.) recently introduced possible legislation that would aim to remove barriers in wireless health and establish a mobile health (mHealth) framework program at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) “to help mobile application developers build their devices in line with current privacy regulations.” The bill, H.R. 6626, The Healthcare Innovation and Marketplace Technologies Act (HIMTA), would also establish grants to help providers in retraining their employees into new positions that use health IT.

 “As we continue to improve our health care system, technology can and should play a prominent role in achieving better care for Americans,” Rep. Honda said in a statement. “Investments, development, and adoption of technologies remain stagnant. Why have the principles of Silicon Valley, which I represent – competition, innovation, and entrepreneurship – not fully manifested themselves in the healthcare information technology space?  This bill gets us closer to that space.”

The bill would specifically address the barrier of capital, and how the lack of it, he says, is one of the biggest barriers to purchasing health information technology. The bill would see the creation of a tax incentive program that allows providers to deduct costs related to non-EHR health IT. Itl also focuses on the development of new technologies through grants and developer challenges.

“Currently, our healthcare system works against small-to-large startup entrepreneurs with a multitude of barriers to entry,” Honda said. “There is also a lack of an established marketplace for new technologies and a lack of trained workers to handle the implementation and use of these technologies. This bill begins to bridge these gaps.”

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