We dedicate much of our time to the implications of and regulations stemming out of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). However, this year's historic health reform legislation ("Affordable Care Act" or "ACA") also contains a number of significant provisions affecting the health IT industry. (We discussed ACA's health IT provisions in a recent guide to the health reform legislation crafted by the American Health Lawyers Association, which you can fine here.)
In particular, Section 1561 of the Affordable Care Act tasks the HIT Policy and Standards Committees (established last year pursuant to ARRA) to develop a set of standards which would facilitate enrollment in federal and state health and human services programs, including drafting "standards for electronic matching across state and federal data; retrieval and submission of electronic documentation for verification; reuse of eligibility information; capability for individuals to maintain eligibility information online; and notification of eligibility."
On July 19, 2010, the Enrollment workgroup of these advisory committees issued their recommendations with respect to minimum enrollment standards. Their recommendations will be the subject of a rule the agency must issue by September 30, 2010. The workgroup's recommendations include the use of web-based services, easing enrollment procedures for patients, and creating "business rules" (sets of policies and procedures aimed at promoting "the use of standard data elements and verification and help to deal with ambiguity of information and differences in data so program officers can make decisions about eligibility.")
"Health IT panel offers first enrollment standards details," Healthcare IT News (July 20, 2010).