Health IT Coalition Takes Aim at EHR Vendors It Says Are Blocking Interoperability Efforts

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The Health IT Now Coalition, a group of providers, patient advocates, employers and payers that support a widespread adoption of health IT, has stepped up criticism of electronic health record vendors the group says are intentionally blocking interoperability efforts to preserve their market shares.

The group's comments follow a recently released RAND report, which cites a lack of interoperability as a reason EHRs have not yet reached their full potential. The report draws specific attention to Epic, saying the closed platform makes data exchange with Epic difficult and costly. (An Epic spokesperson denounced the report, asserting the report's Department of Veterans Affairs authors were attempting to make the VA's system, VistA, look better by comparison, reports Politico.)

However, the RAND report emboldened the Health IT Now Coalition to both denounce any vendor that would intentionally impede data exchange, and call on HHS to take away certification from vendors that hinder national interoperability efforts.

"Taxpayers have paid $24 billion over three years to subsidize systems that block health information in a program Congress created to share health information," wrote Joel White, Executive Director of Health IT Now, in a blog post. “We call on HHS and Congress to use their authority to investigate business practices that inhibit or prohibit data sharing in federal incentive programs. We also call on HHS to work to decertify systems that require additional modules, expenses and customization to share data. We look forward to working with HHS and Congress to ensure taxpayers and patients benefit from open data sharing."

More Articles on Interoperability:

5 EHR Vendors Announce Plans for Total Interoperability by Summer
The ONC's Five Steps to Interoperability by 2024
IT Vendors Share Meaningful Use Concerns, Recommendations

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