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The Healthcare Information Technology Enterprise Integration Act

Bill Summary and Status

Groups endorsing H.R. 2406

Reported (as amended) by the Full Committee, October 24, 2007

Introduced in the House May 21, 2007


Sec. 1 Findings

Sec. 2. Healthcare Information Enterprise Integration Initiative

Requires the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to establish a program on healthcare information enterprise integration. The program shall build upon existing efforts at NIST, other Federal agencies, and the private sector. Technical activities to be included in the NIST program may include: standards, and interoperability analysis, software conformance and certification, security and privacy technical issues, information management and medical device communication. In addition, NIST working with healthcare representatives, organizations and federal agencies is encouraged to establish technical roadmaps for the development of application protocols, interoperability, data integrity and security/privacy, as well as corollary conformance testing protocols. These technical roadmaps should rely upon voluntary consensus standards where possible. In addition, the section requires NIST to report yearly to the Science & Technology Committee in the House of Representatives and the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation on these activities.

Sec. 3. Federal Healthcare Information Technology Systems and Infrastructure

This section requires that NIST, in consultation with appropriate Federal agencies and industry, develop technology-neutral information technology guidelines and standards, or adopt existing technology-neutral industry guidelines and standards for use by Federal agencies in the selection and utilization of healthcare information technologies. This guidance will focus on technical security/privacy and interoperability issues. The initial guidelines/standards should be developed within six-months of enactment. Elements of the program should be to promote the use of commercially available products that meet the guidelines/standards, developing appropriate testing procedures and to promote the use of these tests, provide privacy/security profile and to develop a core set of interoperability specifications between federal agencies and their transaction partners. The section requires the NIST Director to report annually on the level of interoperability, privacy and security used by Federal agencies for sharing healthcare information among Federal agencies, and to report on the progress agencies are making toward establishing a secure and interoperable electronic healthcare system.

The section creates a senior interagency council on federal healthcare information technology infrastructure, chaired by the Undersecretary of Commerce for Technology, to coordinate the development and deployment of healthcare information technologies by the federal departments and agencies. These activities will also include coordination for federal funding and participation in private, voluntary standards organizations as related to electronic healthcare records systems.

Sec. 4. Research and Development Programs

Requires the Director of NIST in consultation with the National Science Foundation (NSF) and other appropriate federal agencies to establish a program to provide assistance to institutions of higher education that enter into partnerships with for-profit and non-profit entities to establish multidisciplinary Centers for Healthcare Information Enterprise Integration. The purpose of the Centers is to generate innovative approaches to healthcare information enterprise integration thru multidisciplinary research. These awards will be made on a competitive base.

The bill also ensures that the programs of the High-Performance Computing Program (National Information Technology Research and Development Program -- NITR-D) will coordinate the federal R&D programs related to the development and deployment of health information technology.

110th Congress