You are the director of health information services for a medium-sized health-care facility. Like many of your peers, you have contracted with an outside copying service to handle all requests for release of patient health information at your facility. You have learned that a lobbying organization for trial attorneys in your state is promoting legislation to place a cap on photocopying costs, which is significantly below the actual cost incurred as part of the contract. Discuss the roles each branch of government will play in considering this legislation and how you and your professional organization may act to influence this process.
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Introduction: The legislation proposing a cap on photocopying costs for patient health information has significant implications for healthcare facilities and their contracted copying services. As such, it is important to understand how each branch of government will be involved in considering this legislation and how professionals in the healthcare industry may influence the process.
Answer: The legislative branch of government, which includes the Senate and the House of Representatives, will be responsible for initially introducing and then passing or rejecting the proposed legislation. The executive branch, which includes the president or governor, may choose to sign or veto the legislation if it is passed, ultimately deciding whether it becomes law. Finally, the judicial branch, which includes the courts, may be involved in interpreting the legislation if legal disputes arise.
As health information services professionals, we may act to influence this process by contacting our elected representatives and providing information about the potential impacts of the legislation on healthcare facilities and patients. Our professional organizations can also advocate on our behalf by lobbying lawmakers, participating in public hearings, and submitting written testimony. It is important that we advocate for the interests of our patients and our industry to ensure that any legislation enacted is fair and equitable.