Health Reform and Health IT

Making law is often compared to making sausage, but the crafting of health care reform that unfolded over the past year more resembled the intractable twisting and turning of a taffy puller. If nothing else, the epic process provided a ready-made excuse for reluctant readers: Why peruse today a bill that will change again tomorrow?

Making law is often compared to making sausage, but the crafting of health care reform that unfolded over the past year more resembled the intractable twisting and turning of a taffy puller. If nothing else, the epic process provided a ready-made excuse for reluctant readers: Why peruse today a bill that will morph yet again tomorrow?

With health care reform finally signed into law and tweaks to it on the reconciliation fast track, we must come clean and admit that we never intended to read a bill the length of a Russian novel -- or two.

Fortunately, denizens of the Web are poring over the landmark law and teasing out its likely impact on health IT.

Brian Ahier, having taken an initial plunge, writes on O'Reilly Radar about provisions of the law dealing with quality reporting, a national medical device registry, comparative effectiveness research, and creation of the assistant secretary for health information.

Health Data Management looks at HIPAA transaction standards and "significant new administrative simplification provisions."

Federal Computer Week's Alice Lipowicz reports on provisions in the law "for improving transparency . . . anti-fraud provisions . . . and a larger number of data elements to be reported by Medicaid and Medicare providers."