News about the contents of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act conference report is dribbling out drop by drop.
Lawmakers said Wednesday that the conference report version, which irons out difference between the House and Senate drafts of H.R. 1, appears to include enough funding to pay 60% of group health continuation premiums for laid-off workers for 9 months, and about $2 billion in support for private-sector efforts to spur use of electronic health records.
At this point, we still have not seen an authoritative summary of the conference report.
But House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., says the conference report also provides $1 billion for a new prevention and wellness fund along with $1.1 billion for comparative effectiveness research, to help patients and doctors determine the effectiveness of different treatments.
A health information privacy and security section would require that an individual be notified if there were an unauthorized disclosure or use of the individual’s health information and would mandate that a patient would have to give permission before others could use the patient’s personal health information for marketing purposes.
America’s Health Insurance Plans, Washington, is welcoming indications that the stimulus bill will include substantial funding for health coverage, effectiveness studies and health information technology.