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Records oversight established

Published (6/1/2010)
By Lauren Radomski
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As part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, Congress passed a law that offers Medicaid incentives to health care providers who demonstrate “meaningful use” of electronic health records. A new law positions Minnesota providers to take part.

Sponsored by Rep. Thomas Huntley (DFL-Duluth) and Sen. Tony Lourey (DFL-Kerrick), the law establishes state oversight of the organizations that facilitate the transfer of electronic medical records from one hospital or clinic to another. In essence, these organizations provide the technology infrastructure that allows patients’ medical information to easily and securely follow them as they visit health professionals in different locations.

Under the law, “health data intermediaries” must be certified by the Department of Health, which is also charged with ongoing monitoring and compliance enforcement.

According to Huntley, nothing in the law changes Minnesota’s health privacy standards, which he called among the strictest in the nation. Patients may already demand that their records not be shared with other providers, he said.

The law takes effect July 1, 2010.

HF3279/ SF2974*/CH336

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