Document Type



The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, which Congress passed as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, has set in motion a widespread increase in the use of electronic health records (EHRs) across the American health care industry. While EHRs are not new to health care, their being the standard format for purposes of documenting patients’ health records across the United States is a modern reality. By monetarily rewarding health care providers for adopting and using EHRs and by penalizing noncompliant providers, the HITECH Act seeks to achieve this reality through its meaningful use incentive program. This Note examines the ways in which widespread use of EHRs in the American health care industry will impact the security and privacy of protected health information. Furthermore, this Note predicts how the proliferation of EHRs may complicate, and in some cases obstruct, health care fraud detection. In this vein, this Note assesses the tactical options available to anti-fraud authorities as they adapt their auditing, detection, and enforcement efforts to an electronic world. Finally, this Note offers recommendations as to how prosecutors, law enforcement authorities, lawmakers, providers, and patients can improve health care fraud detection.