AHA to Congress: Regulate but don't stifle innovation in healthcare AI

The American Hospital Association told Congress it favors a "sector specific approach" to regulating artificial intelligence.

"AI is not a monolithic technology, and a one-size-fits-all approach could stifle innovation in patient care and hospital operations and could prove inadequate at addressing the risks to safety and privacy that are unique to health care," the AHA wrote in its Sept. 22 letter to Congress. "Just as software is regulated based on its use in different sectors, the AHA urges Congress to consider regulating AI use in a similar manner."

The AHA addressed its comments to U.S. Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., who earlier in the month released a white paper on AI regulation.

"While AI has the potential to streamline health care administration and address spending by optimizing provider resources and improving patient care, there are still questions about how patient information will be used to advance care and whether this may weaken patient privacy protections," Dr. Cassidy wrote in the report. "Leveraging individual health data is essential to deliver specific care outcomes to a patient, but Congress must ensure that AI tools are not used to deny patients access to care or use patient information for purposes that a patient has not given consent for."

In its letter, the AHA said it is "critical to both mitigate patient risk and allow hospitals and clinicians to harness the benefits of these powerful technologies for the good of their patients."

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