Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act: HITECH

The HITECH Act or the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act was included in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The purpose of the HITECH Act is to promote the adoption and meaningful use of health information technology. Healthcare providers are expected to convert to electronic health records by 2015. Early adopters can apply for financial incentives. Late adopters will face penalties.

This transition to EHR has brought HIPAA back into the spotlight. Significant changes include:

  • Increased Enforcement - The state attorney general can now bring civil action on behalf of state residents.
  • Increased Penalties - Penalties for willful neglect can be as high as $1,500,000.
  • Assessment of Penalties - The presence of written HIPAA policies including training, risk assessment, and notifications will be taken into consideration by the CA Dept of Public Health.
  • Business Associates are subject to the same civil and criminal penalties in the event of a breach.
  • Accounting of Disclosures - Covered entities must be able to track any disclosures of PHI. A patient can request disclosures going back 3 years.
  • Breach Notifications and Reporting - Covered entities must notify affected individuals in the event of a breach, as well as the CA Dept of Public Health. Additional notifications may be required based on the number of individuals affected.

Transition to Electronic Health Records
Pouch Records Management offers the facilities and services to assist healthcare providers in identifying a manageable, cost effective transition to electronic health records (EHR) while staying compliant with HIPAA regulations.

  • Back-file Conversions
  • Daily imaging with 24 hour turn-around
  • Hard copy storage for inactive records
  • Scan-on-Demand retrieval and delivery option
  • Password protected secure access to our web browser

AHIMA (American Health Information Management Association) is a health information management (HIM) professional association over 59,000 members strong. Since its founding in 1928, AHIMA has remained committed to quality healthcare through quality information.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) is officially Public Law 111-5 and was signed on February 17, 2009. Please view the ARRA - HITECH website for more information.

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