House should act on IT legislation, lawmakers urge

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Lawmakers and others are urging the House to act on a bill that encourages the adoption of health information technology.

The Senate already has passed similar legislation. But the House has not yet acted on its bill, in part because of privacy advocates' concerns about adequate safeguards. Rep. Nancy Johnson (R-CT) and Rep. Nathan Deal (R-GA) sponsor the House bill.

Benefits of healthcare IT include improvements in safety and quality of care, as well as reductions in wasteful spending, said Johnson, chair of the House Ways and Means Health Subcommittee, at a hearing held by the subcommittee last week. Kenneth Kizer, a former VA official, endorsed expanding the VA's electronic health record system across the federal government.