The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act better known as the HITECH Act was signed into law by president Barrack Obama on February 17, 2009 as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The goal of the act was to provide resources and promote the adoption of technology in the health care industry. The act offered financial incentives for healthcare providers that demonstrate meaningful use of electronic health records(EHR) and other health related technology as well as financial penalties for providers that fail to meet the requirements.

Also known as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act it was included in the 2009 stimulus package, or the Recovery and Reinvestment Act which gives physicians incentives, by providing grants, to make “meaningful use” the Electronic Health Record (EHR) system in their practices so it can be possible for doctors to e-prescribe, gather and exchange information, and make use of the best possible clinical research available for their patients. In doing so, patients personal information will be circulated electronically more often, which raises the issue of privacy and personal data protection in the health care industry.

The regulations about how personal medical information can be accesses, transferred and shared, have outgrown HIPAA and for this reason the HITECH Act was created. It encompasses how the Act will be enforcement, how a breach will be notified to the people whose information has been leaked, and how Electronic Health Record can be accessed.

Details and Specifics:

Section 13410(d) of the HITECH Act, which became effective on February 18, 2009, revised section 1176(a) of the Social Security Act (the Act) by establishing:
  • Four categories of violations that reflect increasing levels of culpability;
  • Four corresponding tiers of penalty amounts that significantly increase the minimum penalty amount for each violation; and
  • A maximum penalty amount of $1.5 million for all violations of an identical provision.
It also amended section 1176(b) of the Act by:
  • Striking the previous bar on the imposition of penalties if the covered entity did not know and with the exercise of reasonable diligence would not have known of the violation (such violations are now punishable under the lowest tier of penalties); and
  • Providing a prohibition on the imposition of penalties for any violation that is corrected within a 30-day time period, as long as the violation was not due to willful neglect.

For even more details about being HITECH/HIPPA Compliant watch this video:

Web Resources:

Health IT


Related Terminology:

- Business Entity: A business object is a type of an intelligible entity being an actor inside the business layer in a multi-tiered system of object-oriented computer program.

- Healthcare Reform: Health care reform is a general rubric used for discussing major health policy creation or changes—for the most part, governmental.

- Business Associate: A person or organization that performs a function or activity on behalf of a covered entity, but is not part of the covered entity's workforce. A business associate can also be a covered entity in its own right


HITech Act Payout
HITech Act Payout
HITECH Penalties
HITECH Penalties