With the first Republican in the state since 1972, newly elected Senator Scott Brown has dealt a blow to Obama’s health care reform plans, but not to the underlying work of making health care more paperless. According to Reuters, “Brown’s win robbed Democrats of the crucial 60th Senate vote they need to pass the healthcare bill and sent shudders of fear through Democrats facing tough races in November’s congressional elections. What once seemed an easy Democratic victory turned into a desperate scramble in the last few weeks as Brown surged ahead of Democratic state Attorney General Martha Coakley on voter fears over the economy, the healthcare bill and Obama’s agenda.”
Nonetheless, work on the electronic data interchange standard HIPAA X12 5010 and companion medical coding standard ICD-10 will continue. Most health plans appear pleased with this news and it may free up IT budgets to accelerate electronic health care standards as these firms anticipate that their cost of doing business will not be as restricted or impacted by health reform legislation.