Washington, D.C. – Today, along with 30 organizations, Health IT Now wrote a letter to House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton, Ranking Member Frank Pallone, Congresswoman DeGette, and Congressman Burgess, commending their efforts on the interoperability provisions of H.R. 6, the 21st Century Cures Act. Joel White, Executive Director of the Health IT Now Coalition, issued the following statement following the release:
“Health IT Now and our members have been advocating for interoperability for the better part of a decade because we know how important it will be in saving tens of billions of dollars, improving care outcomes and enabling physicians and others to be successful in better coordinating care. Despite tens of billions of dollars in federal and private investments over the past few years, interoperable health systems remain more a dream than a reality. We are sending a strong message to Congress that there is deep and wide support for changing the law to address the known defects associated with the Meaningful Use program and interoperability specifically.
The bill creates a solid process to more rapidly develop standards through the private sector. It uses the same Medicare enforcement tools that currently apply to hospitals and doctors and applies them to vendors and HIEs to that ensure bad actors are held to task for their actions. Also, the provision takes the recommendations of Nobel laureates and focuses the effort where it should have been all along – open standards and published tools so that people can easily interact with their EHR.
For too long we have subsidized adoption and not interoperation. This bill changes that, and is a welcome patient safety initiative. Our hope is for the House and Senate to take this up quickly.”