FMI and Others Warn About Privacy Health Information Mandates in Stimulus Bill

The Food Marketing Institute, in conjunction with the National Association of Chain Drug Stores and the National Community Pharmacists Association, sent a letter yesterday to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., urging congressional leaders to reconsider so-called “privacy” health information technology (HIT) provisions included in the “American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009” that would inhibit pharmacies from providing patient care.

ARLINGTON, Va. — The Food Marketing Institute here, in conjunction with the National Association of Chain Drug Stores and the National Community Pharmacists Association, sent a letter yesterday to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., urging congressional leaders to reconsider so-called “privacy” health information technology (HIT) provisions included in the “American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009” that would inhibit pharmacies from providing patient care.

The associations’ concern centers on compliance with privacy-related provisions, particularly the requirement to provide individuals with an accounting of all disclosures to protect health information. Late yesterday the House and Senate reached an agreement on a final version of the $789 billion economic stimulus bill. It was not immediately clear if the final version satisfied the pharmacy associations’ concern over privacy compliance. The bill moves to a final vote in both houses.

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