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The new number-one priority for America is to improve the efficiency of the nation's healthcare system-especially in the information technology arena. Experts say rising health costs are the main cause of long-term national budget problems, and that computerization of health records will drive down costs. Computerization will also bring an operational sea change, for currently less than one out of every five doctors in the U.S. uses electronic health records. This change will accelerate requirements to ensure the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of electronic protected health information (EPHI). Securing these records is one element of HIPAA, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (Public Law 104-191).
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