Bill would use federal insurers' reserves to fund electronic health records

A new bill will allow insurers in the federal health insurance program to tap into their reserves to fund development of electronic health records, a move its sponsor says that will jump-start widespread adoption.
Written by ZDNet UK, Contributor

In an effort to push insurance companies towards deploying electronic health records, Republican Rep. Jon Porter of Nevada will introduce a bill to establish electronic records in the federal employee health benefits program, Stephen Barr reports in the Washington Post.

"They just need the encouragement to take it to the next step," Porter said. "This should help families all over the country . . . whether they are in the federal program or not."

Porter said his bill would permit health insurance companies that participate in FEHBP to tap into the program's financial reserves and divert a small percentage to pay for new technology. That would cover start-up costs without forcing an increase in premiums, he said.

The proposed system would provide for a personal health record, which would be protected by a personal identification number, or PIN. Federal employees and retirees who become ill or injured while traveling could make their health information, such as allergies or medications, available to doctors and hospital emergency rooms, Porter said.


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