CDT supports the use of electronic health records by health care providers and by patients to improve individual and population health. However, federal incentives to promote electronic records must be accompanied by strong privacy and security policies and technical safeguards.
To be eligible for financial incentives, health care providers should be required to demonstrate compliance with strong baseline privacy and security policies, and their electronic health records should be equipped with technical capabilities that facilitate adoption of good security safeguards.
The attached document contains the comments CDT submitted supporting this position to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and to the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) on the proposed rules for Stage 2 of the federal electronic health record incentive program.
The Health Information Technology Policy Committee (HITPC) is seeking public comment regarding the second stage of the "meaningful use" program. This government program sets forth criteria and standards – including for privacy and security – that doctors and hospitals must meet to receive a financial reimbursement for the purchase of electric health records (EHRs). You can learn more about meaningful use here.
Some degree of government surveillance and secrecy is necessary to protect against national security threats. However, overbroad government power to conduct mass surveillance with minimal transparency threatens Constitutional freedoms and inhibits meaningful public debate. Here are four – but not the only – needed national security surveillance reforms that the Administration and Congress should tackle now.