Shaping Policy

A number of federal policies, including the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), and now the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA), advance the use of digital health information in our 21st century health care system. The National Partnership is a widely recognized voice for consumers and has consistently provided the leadership, strategy and recommendations for how digital health should be integrated in new laws and policies and used to facilitate patient-centered health care.

The National Partnership regularly engages with Congress and federal agencies to improve laws that govern the use of health information technology across our health care system.


MACRA is intended to accelerate the transition to a health care system that rewards quality and value, rather than volume, and helps ensure that patients experience better care and improved health outcomes. We support the robust use of health information technology in new models of care delivery and payment rolling out under MACRA. Read more about our work on MACRA here.


The Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Program, also called the Meaningful Use program, encourages eligible providers to adopt EHRs and “meaningfully” use them to improve patient care. This program has been the most significant policy lever for catalyzing health information technology adoption and use and advancing consumer access and use of electronic health information. The National Partnership played a pivotal role in shaping its provisions for patient engagement and patient-centered uses of health IT. Read more about our position on Meaningful Use at the links below.


Interoperability is the ability for two systems (or people) to electronically exchange and use data. We believe strongly that efforts to enhance interoperability must include sharing useful information with patients and family caregivers, as well as among providers.


While many people think of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) as the foundation of health privacy law, it is ultimately a consumer protection law. HIPAA gives patients and authorized caregivers the right to see and get a copy of health information, including an electronic copy in the form and format of the consumer’s choosing. More can be done to inform consumers and providers about HIPAA’s benefits and protections.


View regulatory comments from the National Partnership prior to 2015.