HITN Encouraged by RAND Corp. Report on EHRs

RAND Report Highlights Persistent Problem Holding Health IT Back

Yesterday, the RAND Corporation issued the report Redirecting Innovation in U.S. Health Care: Options to Decrease Spending and Increase Value. As the report states, there are several technologies that could significantly improve health outcomes and lower costs for patients if only the lack of interoperability didn’t stand in their way. In particular, RAND notes some systems proactively block the sharing of clinical and administrative information for pecuniary business interests.

“As the Health IT Now Coalition has long stated, walled gardens and data blocking are obstacles to interoperability and transformation to a technology enabled health system,” said Joel White, Executive Director of Health IT Now. “The RAND report reiterates what those in the health IT industry know well: Interoperability must be a priority if we truly want to improve patient outcomes, decrease costs, and achieve a technology enabled system.”

“Taxpayers have paid $24 billion over three years to subsidize systems systems that block health information in a program Congress created to share health information,” White added. “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.”

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