Proposed legislation aims to put all health information in the "bank"

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A new bill is aimed at creating national health information banks, which would manage Americans' medical records like financial institutions managed currency and credit.

Rep. Dennis Moore (D-KS) introduced the "Independent Health Record Bank Act of 2006" in the House of Representatives late last week. Just a week earlier, Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS) introduced the Senate version, the "Independent Record Bank Act." The measures would create a national healthcare network that could be accessed at the point of service using patient swipe cards. This would allow physicians and other providers real-time electronic access to patient health records.

The banks would be registered and regulated through the Federal Trade Commission and the attorney general, and they would permit individuals to file medical record information that they would have complete ownership over.

A Rand Corporation study estimates the savings generated by some type of independent health record bank program at nearly $150 billion net annually.