Final Rules & Regulations
The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act provides the Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) with the authority to promulgate regulations and guidance to support the development of an interoperable, private, and secure nationwide health information technology infrastructure.
The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act provides HHS with the authority to establish programs to improve health care quality, safety, and efficiency through the promotion of health IT, including electronic health records and private and secure electronic health information exchange.
Under HITECH, eligible health care professionals and hospitals can qualify for Medicare and Medicaid incentive payments when they adopt certified EHR technology and use it to achieve specified objectives.
The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) protects patient data of all forms from unauthorized access. Understanding and following HIPAA is vital to secure use of EHRs and is required by law.
The HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR) administers privacy- and security-related issues, including HIPAA violations.
This document includes guidance specifying encryption and destruction as the technologies and methodologies that render protected health information unusable, unreadable, or indecipherable to unauthorized individuals.
Issued by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, this rule identifies the standards and certification criteria for the certification of EHR technology, so eligible professionals and hospitals may be assured that the systems they adopt are capable of performing the required functions.
The Meaningful Use of Electronic Health Records Final Rule [PDF – 14 MB] provides guidelines to health professionals and hospitals on how to adopt and use electronic health record technology in a meaningful way to help improve the quality, safety, and efficiency of patient care. The rule also provides guidelines on how providers can qualify for the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs.