ICYMI – ONC’s Information Blocking Report Gets It Right

Washington, D.C. – The Health IT Now Coalition issued the following statement supporting the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT’s report that criticized vendor and provider practices that make it more difficult to share consumer electronic health records.

“The report is confirmation from ONC that information blocking is a serious problem,” said Joel White, Executive Director of Health IT Now. “We continue to believe that information blocking is one of the main impediments to widespread interoperability. But, we need to quantify how big a problem it is. This should be done through audit, confirming products meet program rules, and new enforcement tools. This is an information sharing program. Blocking information in a sharing program – and then subsidizing business practices that do it – seems more than counter-productive. It’s nonsense.

“The administration including ONC, CMS, DOJ, and FTC need to use every tool at their disposal. Congress should work together with the administration to give ONC the enforcement tools needed to put a stop to these harmful and anti-competitive business practices. One major step forward would be for the Senate to pass SGR reform, which currently includes measures targeting information blocking.”

About the Health IT Now Coalition:  Health IT Now (HITN) is a broad based coalition of patient groups, provider organizations, employers and payers that supports incentives to deploy health information technology to improve care, provider performance, patient outcomes and to lower costs. Learn more at www.healthitnow.org.