The Congressional Budget Office hasÂ estimatedÂ that it would costÂ $122 million over theÂ 2017 to 2021 periodÂ to implement a bill that would require the Department ofÂ Health and Human ServicesÂ to expandÂ federal health information technologyÂ programs.
CBO said FridayÂ the Senate’sÂ Improving Health Information Technology Act would not affect direct spending orÂ on-budget deficits throughÂ four consecutive 10-year periods beginning in 2027 and the legislationÂ contains no intergovernmental or private sector mandates.
The bill would authorize the HHS inspector general toÂ collect civil monetary penalties from entities that intentionally block access to electronic health information, CBO added.
Section 2 of the bill would direct the HHS secretary to recommend methodsÂ to lessen administrative
requirements related to the use ofÂ electronic health records as well as produce a strategy to implement the recommendations.
The HIT Standards Committee would be required to determine medical specialties and provider locationsÂ where health IT adoption is limited and provide recommendations on certifying criteria for pediatric health care providers’ HIT.
Implementation of section 2 would require four employees each year and costÂ $6 million over the 2017 to 2021 period, CBO said.
Section 3 ofÂ S. 2511 would obligate the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology to certify that accredited HIT developers do not willfully blockÂ access to electronic health information and ensure the seamless exchange of information between HIT systems.
The ONC will also createÂ reporting requirements for HIT products;Â establish a star rating system forÂ certified products; and publishÂ rating criteria and star ratings for certified HIT products under the legislation.
CBO estimates that the implementation of section 3 would costÂ $43 million through the 2017 to 2021 period to cover 26 full-time employees each year as well asÂ necessary IT and infrastructure.
Section 4 requires the HHS secretary to identifyÂ activities that constitute electronic healthÂ information blocking as well as issue a guidanceÂ on how to address barriers that preventÂ secure health informationÂ exchange.
This section would necessitate an average ofÂ 5 full-time employees every year and would cost approximately $6 million over the 2017 to 2021 period, CBO noted.
Section 5 would require 17 employees annually and cost $45 million over the 2017 to 2021 period as it directs ONC to collaborate withÂ stakeholders to develop a trusted exchange framework that would contain policies and practices onÂ privacy and security matters.
The bill’s section 6 would require certified HIT products to send and receive data from registries that collect information on individuals with specific medical conditions.
The section would also mandate HHS to submit a report to Congress on best practices related toÂ the integration of HIT into clinical practice.
CBO said theÂ enactment of section 6Â would cost $8 million over the 2017 to 2021 period and require fourÂ full-time employees each year.
Under section 7, HHS would promoteÂ patient access to electronic health information throughÂ health care provider education as well as publish guidance on measures to provideÂ health information to patients.
Section 7 would require four employees every year and costÂ $5 million fromÂ 2017 through 2021, CBO stated.
The legislation would require the comptroller general to produce several reports to Congress on the product rating system and on current initiatives that aim to match EHRÂ to correct patients which would cost $1 million over the next four years.