House Committee Advances Bill on Clinical Data Registries

July 31, 2014 in News

On Wednesday, the House Energy and Commerce Committee  voted 25-18 to advance a bill (HR 5214) that would require HHS to release recommendations for developing clinical data registries aimed at improving patient care, Health Data Management report.

The bill now goes to the full House for consideration (Slabodkin, Health Data Management, 7/30).

Details of Bill

The bill would require the HHS secretary to issue recommendations “for a set of standards that, if adopted, would allow for the bidirectional, interoperable exchange of information between the electronic health records of the reporting clinicians and such registries.”

Specifically, the measure would require HHS to publish recommendations on how to:

  • Develop clinical registries, including outcomes-based registries; and
  • Use the registries to assess how care models and methods affect the management of chronic illnesses based on clinical practice guidelines and best practices.

The bill notes that the use of clinical registries to reduce the risk of chronic diseases is particularly important.

The bill would require HHS to advise on how the registries can be used to help health care providers improve clinical practices for the prevention of such diseases and recommend how to share any tools or educational resources “derived from registry data.”

The bill also calls on HHS to consult with national medical specialty groups to develop recommendations related to diabetes and pre-diabetes (iHealthBeat, 7/29).

Reaction

During the committee hearing, Rep. Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) said he opposed the bill and objected to the committee’s vote, arguing that the panel had not had adequate time to review the bill and that the legislation “appears to duplicate current public-private efforts that are already in existence” (Durben Hirsch, FierceEMR, 7/29). He added, “The problem isn’t that provider organizations don’t know how to set up a registry. The real problem is a lack of funding.”

An American Medical Association spokesperson said that the organization also had “concerns about the bill” but did not elaborate.

However, American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists President R. Mack Harrell said his organization supports the bill, particularly the provision requiring HHS to recommend standards for allowing bidirectional, interoperable information exchanges between clinical data registries and EHRs (Health Data Management, 7/30).

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