The America Reinvestment and Recovery Act

The America Reinvestment and Recovery Act Purposes

The America Reinvestment and Recovery Act purpose is to provide guidance with the development of nationwide health information technology infrastructure that allows for the electronic use and exchange of information that:

(1) ensures that each patient’s health information is secure and protected, in accordance with applicable law;
(2) improves health care quality, reduces medical errors, reduces health disparities, and advances the delivery of patient centered medical care;
(3) reduces health care costs resulting from inefficiency, medical errors, inappropriate care, duplicative care, and incomplete information;
(4) provides appropriate information to help guide medical decisions at the time and place of care;
(5) ensures the inclusion of meaningful public input in such development of such infrastructure;
(6) improves the coordination of care and information among hospitals, laboratories, physician offices, and other entities through an effective infrastructure for the secure and authorized exchange of health care information;
(7) improves public health activities and facilitates the early identification and rapid response to public health threats and emergencies, including bio terror events and infectious disease outbreaks;
(8) facilitates health and clinical research and health care quality;
(9) promotes early detection, prevention, and management of chronic diseases;
(10) promotes a more effective marketplace, greater competition, greater systems analysis, increased consumer choice, and improved outcomes in health care services; and
(11) improves efforts to reduce health disparities

The term ‘‘covered entity’’ has the meaning of a health care provider that conducts certain transactions in electronic form, a health care clearinghouse, and a health plan. ARRA extends all requirements applicable to covered entities to their business associates. A business associate as defined by CFR 45, Part 160.103 is, with respect to a covered entity, a person who performs, or assists in performing a function or activity involving the disclosure of individually identifiable health information, except as a member of the covered entity’s workforce. Relevant activities include:

  • claims processing or administration, data analysis, processing or administration, utilization review, quality assurance, billing, benefit management, practice management, and re-pricing;
  • or provision of legal, actuarial, accounting, consulting, data aggregation, management, administrative, accreditation, or financial services.

A covered entity may be a business associate of another covered entity. Therefore, in compliance with ARRA, a business associate of a covered entity must comply with the same requirements as a covered entity.

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