ALEXANDRIA, Va. The National Association of Chain Drug Stores has submitted comments to the House Energy and Commerce Committee citing perspectives and concerns about draft legislation to amend the Public Health Service Act. This correlates to a move made by NACDS on Monday, when it joined the Divided We Fail healthcare reform union, which is urging Congressional leaders to take action on health information technology and e-prescribing.
The committee’s Subcommittee on Health held a hearing today titled Discussion Draft of Health Information Technology and Privacy Legislation.
In the letter, NACDS supports the adoption of HIT and urges the Committee to consider improvements to specific privacy provisions. The letter outlines NACDS’ history of support for HIT efforts, saying “The chain drug industry has been in of adopting standards and technology that are essential for the development of the forefront interoperable HIT to improve the quality of patient care.”
NACDS emphasized that it is critical that patients have confidence that health care providers will protect their sensitive information, and that there are strong laws to ensure this. However, some provisions may have unintended consequences, such as making it easier to divert prescription drugs for illicit purposes or preventing healthcare professionals from having sufficient information to treat patients appropriately.
NACDS also cited a concern regarding the lack of pharmacy representation on the HIT Policy Committee and the HIT Standards Committee, which the draft legislation currently includes. NACDS urges that the Committees include pharmacy-designated seats to represent the diversity of health care providers.
In the letter, the association also recognized the leading role that the Committee has played in encouraging the adoption of HIT standards and technology that are essential for the further development of interoperable HIT.