Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Reported to Senate with amendment(s) (08/01/2007)

Wired for Health Care Quality Act - Title I: Improving the Interoperability of Health Information Technology - (Sec. 101) Amends the Public Health Service Act to establish the Office of the National Coordinator of Health Information Technology. Requires the Office to: (1) ensure that key health information technology initiatives are coordinated across the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS); (2) enhance the use of health information technology to improve the quality of health care in the prevention and management of chronic disease and to address population health; (3) develop a strategic plan for implementing a nationwide interoperable health information technology infrastructure; and (4) assess the impact of health information technology in communities with health disparities and identify practices to increase the adoption of such technology by health care providers in such communities. Terminates this section on September 30, 2014.

Establishes a public-private Partnership for Health Care Improvement to: (1) provide advice to the Secretary of Health and Human Services (the Secretary) and the nation and recommend specific actions to achieve a nationwide interoperable health information technology infrastructure; (2) make recommendations concerning standards, implementation specifications, and certification criteria for the electronic exchange of health information for adoption by the federal government and, voluntarily, by private entities; and (3) develop a schedule for the assessment of standards and implementation specifications. Requires the Secretary, the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, and the Secretary of Defense to jointly review such recommendations. Requires the President to provide for the adoption by the federal government of standards and implementation specifications contained in such recommendation.

Establishes the American Health Information Community to: (1) provide advice to the Secretary and relevant federal agencies concerning health information technology policy considerations; (2) make recommendations concerning a policy framework for the development and adoption of a nationwide interoperable health information technology infrastructure; and (3) make recommendations concerning national policies for adoption by the federal government and, voluntarily, by private entities to support the widespread adoption of health information technology, including the protection of individually identifiable health information. Requires the Secretary to review all recommendations and determine which should be endorsed by the federal government. Terminates provisions related to the Community on September 20, 2014.

Prohibits a federal agency from expending federal funds for the purchase of new health information technology that is not consistent with standards adopted under this Act. Directs all federal agencies collecting health data in an electronic format to comply with the standards and implementation specifications adopted under this Act.

Requires the Secretary to contract with private entities to serve as Quality Reporting Organizations to store federal health data and develop reports to: (1) improve the quality and efficiency of health care and advanced health care research; (2) enhance the education and awareness of consumers for evaluating health care services; and (3) provide the public with reports on national, regional, provider, and supplier performance.

Requires the Secretary to give researchers access to all federal health care data to report on the performance of health care providers and suppliers.

Title II: Facilitating the Widespread Adoption of Interoperable Health Information Technology - (Sec. 201) Authorizes the Secretary to award competitive matching grants to: (1) eligible entities to facilitate the purchase and enhance the utilization of qualified health information technology systems to improve the quality and efficiency of health care; (2) states for loans to health care providers to facilitate the purchase and enhance the utilization of qualified health information technology; (3) eligible entities to implement regional or local health information plans to improve health care quality and efficiency through the electronic exchange of health information; and (4) eligible entities or consortia to carry out demonstration projects to develop academic curricula integrating qualified health information technology systems in the clinical education of health professionals or to analyze clinical data sets to discover quality measures.

Title III: Improving the Quality of Health Care - (Sec. 301) Requires the Secretary to: (1) provide for the development and use of measures of the quality and efficiency of health care that patients receive; and (2) designate a single organization to promote the development of such quality measures and provide the Secretary with advice and recommendations on the key elements and priorities of a national system for health care performance measurement. Requires the designated organization to: (1) ensure that priority is given to certain measures, including those measures with the greatest potential impact for improving the performance and efficiency of care; (2) establish procedures to ensure that quality measures take into account differences in patient health status, patient characteristics, and geographic locations; and (3) require the owners or developers of quality measures to update and enhance such measures and retire outdated measures.

Allows the Secretary, acting through the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), to award grants to organizations to support the development and testing of quality measures that meet the standards established by the designated organizations.

Requires the Secretary to: (1) select quality measures for adoption and use; and (2) implement programs to enable HHS to accept the electronic submission of data for purposes of performance measurement.

Title IV: Privacy and Security - (Sec. 401) Extends health information privacy requirements to an operator of a health information electronic database. Gives individuals the right to inspect and obtain a copy of their protected health information stored in electronic format. Sets forth rights for individuals who are victims of medical fraud or who believe that there is an error in their protected health information.

Title V: Miscellaneous Provisions - (Sec. 501) Directs the Comptroller General to report on the circumstances in which it is necessary and workable to require health plans, health care clearinghouses, and health care providers who transmit health information in electronic form to notify individuals if their individually identifiable health information is wrongly disclosed.

(Sec. 502) Requires the Secretary, acting through the Director of AHRQ, to develop a Health Information Technology Resource Center to provide technical assistance and develop best practices to support and accelerate efforts to adopt, implement, and effectively use interoperable health information technology.

(Sec. 503) Allows the Secretary to make grants to states that have adopted regional reciprocity agreements for practitioner licensure to expedite the provision of telehealth services across state lines.