What is HITECH (Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health) Act?


June 26, 2012

HITECH a.k.a. the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act was enacted in 2009 as part of the American Recovery and Investment Act. In February 2009, it was signed into law. What’s it all about? HITECH is about promoting the meaningful use and adoption of health information technology.

Part D of this act looks at the privacy and security questions that come with electronically transmitting patient health information data. Part of this act offers several provisions to help ensure that there is civil and criminal enforcement when it comes to the rules of HIPAA.

One stipulation of this act was that as of 2011, healthcare providers could be offered incentives if they demonstrated best practices when it came to the use of electronic health records (EHRs). These incentives could be offered through 2015. After 2015, there could be penalties for failure to show that such measures have been in place when it comes to use of and access to EHRs. In addition, grants are available for personnel at training centers who are required to support such infrastructures.

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