Electronic records mandates may clash with privacy laws: Patchwork of state laws adds complexity By Eric A. Klein and Christine C. Cohn

President Obama has declared that electronic medical records will “reduce error rates, reduce our long-term cost of health care and create jobs.” “Obama’s Prime Time Press Briefing,” N.Y. Times, Feb. 9, 2009. Congress has authorized $19 billion to implement provisions of the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2009 intended to accelerate the adoption and use of “certified electronic health record [EHR] technology” during the next several years by hospitals and physicians that provide services to Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries. H.R. 1, 111th Cong. §§ 4001- 4201 (2009). Professionals and hospitals that fail to implement EHR technology by 2014 stand to suffer reductions in Medicare reimbursements.

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