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The HITECH Act One Year Later: Real Healthcare Reform? Part I
This post will take the opportunity of the passing of HITECH?s one year anniversary to write some year-end reflections and some next year prognostications. OK, so most people do this sort of thing in January, but for the purposes of this series of posts the relevant times are measured as ?BH? (Before HITECH) and ?AH? (After HITECH). The HITECH Act was enacted on February 17, 2009. This "kick off" post is therefore prior to, and anticipation of, the one year anniversary.
Clearly the healthcare "business" is changing. What a difference a year makes. While most in the healthcare industry still have not ?awakened? to the compliance ramifications contained within HITECH, many others have. Given the feedback we have gotten via email and at speaking engagements recently, the awakening falls into the ?rude? category, despite the fact that our educational message has been well received and our audience has not engaged in ?shoot the messenger? conduct (i.e. for the most part).
While, by and large, we believe that legislation analogous to HITECH is long overdue, and we are willing to discuss the reasons for our support in general, the purpose of these posts is to inform readers about the state of the law as it exists today (i.e. we are not policy wonks and therefore our approach is pragmatic and not political), and the implications of same going forward. In fact, the HIPAA Survival Guide (and now the HITECH Survival Guide) was written precisely because we felt that small providers would be disproportionately burdened by the new law and regulations.
This series of posts will cover the following topics:
- State of the HITECH Rollout: HITECH Act Effective Dates(Part II)
- State of HITECH Meaningful Use: the HITECH Act Interim Final Rules (Part III)
- State of the HITECH Enforcement Regime: Who's Doing What?
- Disrupting the Healthcare Industry: What Comes Next?
- What Comes After What Comes Next?
Those of you who follow this blog understand that we believe that healthcare is being disrupted more via innovation than by government. As Victor Hugo once said (paraphrasing): Even the "baddest army in history (that would be the US Armed Forces)" cannot resist an idea whose time has come.
The time for the healthcare industry to change has come. It does not have an option. The tsunami about to hit healthcare is simply a force (like the Internet) that cannot be resisted. The change is being driven as much by the "winds of innovation" as by government. Although, our government is clearly playing an important role by helping "set the winds" in motion.
: To stay current on the HITECH Act and its quickly changing regulatory scheme visit the HIPAA Survival Guide website and/or sign up for Digital Business Law Group's free monthly compliance newsletter. Also, check out a FREE EHR Checklist and a FREE Online Backup Checklist, both are provided from HSG affiliates.
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