Texas Gov. signs bill promising improved data interoperability

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed House Bill 2641 into law June 19, a measure that will help better define health information exchange within Texas statute and ensures all public systems are able to exchange patient health data securely and in accordance with national standards.

The bill is also called "Ken's Bill" for Ken Pool, MD, who sat on the board of directors for the Texas e-Health Alliance, a group credited with rallying the coalition of stakeholders who saw the bill through to passage.

HB 2641 also allows health-related information to be transmitted through local HIEs to the appropriate state public health agencies, an important provision for developers working to facilitate the secure exchange of health data.

"HB 2641 is an important step towards making sure that we are empowering providers to get the most out of their investments in health information technologies, and in moving our state health care data systems into the modern era," Representative John Zerwas. MD, author of the bill, said in a statement.

The legislation will go into effect September 1.

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