Rep. Charles Boustany (R-La.) introduced legislation to give patients better control of their health records through various information technology channels.
The Patient-Controlled HealthIT Act would offer patients the right to receive their personal medical information in electronic form from providers who maintain electronic records. It would also create financial incentives for health information organizations to provide electronic clinical data to patients personal health records, according to a summary of the bill.
In addition, incentives would be provided to physicians to use that data in the course of treating their patients.
In the aftermath of Hurricanes Rita and Katrina, millions of healthcare records were destroyed, and healthcare costs are squeezing family budgets in Southwest Louisiana and around the country, Boustany said in a written statement. One way to lower the cost and improve quality is to adopt personal electronic records to help doctors and other healthcare providers limit duplication and errors, but we should go further to put the patient in control.
Studies should be done on the impact these financial incentives and the availability of electronic data have on patients health outcomes, according to the legislation.
The bill does not yet have a companion in the Senate or a cost estimate from the Congressional Budget Office, according to a Boustany aide.