Rep. Pete Stark (D-Calif.), Chairman of the House Ways and Means Health Subcommittee, introduced the Health-e Information Technology Act of 2008, with incentives that could total millions.
The bill sets a deadline for HIT system developments, creates incentives for adoption, and includes rules for privacy protection. The first generation of these standards will be finalized no later than October 2011.
The Health-e IT Act also provides financial incentives through Medicare to doctors and hospitals that adopt and use EMR systems that are certified as meeting the new standards. Physicians who install and utilize an approved system would be eligible for incentive payments totaling up to approximately $40,000 over five years, while hospitals that do the same would be eligible for incentive payments of up to several million dollars.