ONC Commended for Enforcement Actions

Health IT Now Commends ONC for Enforcement Actions

Health IT Now (HITN) issued the following statement following today’s ONC announcement on decertification of two EHR products:

“Health IT Now commends ONC on utilizing their enforcement tools to penalize bad actors. It is important in being good stewards of the taxpayer funded meaningful use program that ONC exercises vigilance and tight surveillance over certified products and their manufacturers. It is concerning that a vendor company would seek to thwart ONC oversight.

HITN urges Congress to pass legislation to foster interoperability and improve the tools available to ONC to punish vendors who thwart program goals and who intentionally block information. Specifically, we urge Congress to pass legislation to make the following changes:

  1. Congress should enact a hardship exemption for providers who use products that are decertified by ONC. Currently, hardship exemptions are left to the discretion of CMS. HITN believes Congress should require CMS to provide them to all providers whose EHR product has been decertified. Such a provision is included in the House-passed 21st Century Cures Act.
  2. Given the fact that there are now providers who must spend significant resources to switch EHR products, HITN calls for an establishment of a hardship fund to aid providers with this transition. We believe providers should not be held responsible for the bad actions of vendor companies, and call on Congress to create such a fund.
  3. We also urge Congress to make it easier for providers to get access to the full suite of data contained in their EHRs to facilitate their transition to a new vendor. Vendors should provide all the data, not just a summary of a patient’s medical record.

These three simple steps will help ensure ONC has all the tools it needs to enforce program rules and provide doctors and hospitals transition relief as they seek out new EHR manufacturers to help them deliver care.”

The Health IT Now Coalition promotes the rapid deployment of heath information technology. Health IT will benefit patients and health care consumers while supporting health practitioners to make smart decisions about patient care while promoting efficiency. For more information, visit www.healthitnow.org