New draft of Senate HELP committee's health IT bill includes proposal for EHR star-rating system

The Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions has published an updated version of its health IT bill. The latest draft includes the addition of a new name for the bill — the "Improving Health Information Technology Act" — and has been trimmed from 68 pages to 51.

Missing from the updated draft is a section that would have mandated EHRs to have information exchange capabilities built into them. Rather, the new version includes provisions that instruct HHS to issue guidance on barriers that prevent EHR data exchange. Also absent from the updated draft is a proposal to combine the Health IT Standards and Policy committees into one body.

The draft includes plans for the development of a star-rating methodology for EHRs and other certified health IT. Should this proposal make it through to legislation, the star-rating system will be based on user-feedback, functionality and interoperability. 

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