Health IT Now’s statement on the Senate HELP Committee hearing on Information blocking

Health IT Now issued the following statement in response to the Senate HELP Committee hearing on Information blocking:

Health IT Now continues to believe that information blocking is one of the main impediments to widespread interoperability.

This business practice barrier to interoperability does not just thwart the federal and private efforts to more fully share clinical information to improve patient outcomes, information blocking also consolidates provider markets and may create inappropriate referral patterns that financially benefit provider and vendor colluders. It also might have a real world impact on patients, their pocket books, and their health.

We support Congress changing the law to punish anyone who intentionally block information. 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 such unfair business practices– seems more than counter-productive.

We believe information blocking is not acceptable. Business models built around data silos have no place in a healthcare system experiencing the challenges currently faced in this country. These business models certainly have no place in a taxpayer funded program designed to facilitate information exchange.

Information blocking means different things to different people. For more information, please see a blog explaining information blocking here.