Dems join GOP in calls to investigate lack of interoperability in MU-funded EHRs


Some Democratic lawmakers have joined their Republican colleagues in calling for an investigation into whether the electronic health records CMS has spent close to $25 billion subsidizing are hindering the exchange of patient information out of inter-vendor competition, according to a report in Politco.


In comments attached to a recent spending bill, the Senate Appropriations Committee has asked the ONC to investigate the problem and "take steps to decertify products that proactively block the sharing of information." The senators, Democrats and Republicans, say not doing so would both limit the clinical and operational benefits of EHRs and be misusing taxpayer dollars, according to the report.

This is not the first time the meaningful use program has been criticized on Capitol Hill for fostering closed EHR systems. Last week, during a hearing on technology and healthcare hosted by the Subcommittees on Communications and Technology and Health, Rep. Phil Gingrey, MD (R-Ga.) called out Epic as an example of a closed EHR that was blocking data exchange between systems.

"Congress has spent, as we all know, something like $24 billion over the past six years buying products to facilitate interoperability, only to have the main vendor under the program, Epic, sell closed platforms," he said. "Do you believe the federal government and the taxpayers are getting their money's worth subsidizing products that are supposed to be interoperable, but they're not?"

More Articles on EHRs:

Hospitals Respond to CMS' Proposed MU Flexibility, Ask for Changes
UNC Health Care Rebounds Financially After Epic Implementation
7 Clinical Integration Success Factors for Short-Term Wins


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