HIMSS' EHR association raises concerns about ONC's proposed interoperability rule

The Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society's EHR Association supports the ONC's proposed interoperability rule, however, the organization outlined some of its concerns with the proposed legislation.

While HIMSS EHRA favors the proposed rule's aim to eliminate obstacles to information exchange, the organization said it sees potential issues with the rule's negative effect on innovation, definitions related to information blocking, short timeline and "ambiguous" language, according to the organization's blog post.

Four notes:

1. Disincentives for innovation. The EHRA said the proposed rule's call for a compulsory licensing model for new intellectual property will remove incentives for new and/or established companies to "invest in emerging technologies or any significant effort to update existing ones."

2. Information blocking definitions are too broad. Definitions for terms "interoperability elements" and "electronic health information" are written too broadly and incorporate technologies and stakeholders "well outside of what is reasonable," the EHRA said.

3. Timeline to comply to rule's new regulations is unrealistic. The EHRA said the rule's proposed 24-month timeline to develop, test, train and implement product changes instated by the rule will be unattainable for certain EHRA member companies.

4. Vague regulatory language can present risk to providers. The proposed rule's use of vague or ambiguous language requires clarification in certain instances, like phrases such as "near real-time." Timely execution can rely on various factors that may be out of the EHR developer's control, such as volume of data, and financially penalize affected stakeholders.

To access the full report, click here.

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