Various law blogs are reporting that the stimulus bill contained another reason for providers to avoid electronic medical records: Breaches of more than 500 patients trigger requirements to report to HHS, advertise on Web sites, notify individual patients, and report to the local media. It takes work to violate 500 paper records. Violating 500 electronic records might take no more than a couple of keystrokes.
The stimulus bill contains HIPAA extension provisions that will probably add significant regulatory costs to an already overburdened system. It creates more jobs for bureaucratic overseers and makes service providers like Google Health subject to HIPAA restrictions. link, and PointofLaw, February 23.]