ONC Makes Strides on Health IT Now's Calls for New Oversight Framework, Burden Reduction

Newly released draft ONC strategy for burden reduction upholds goal of earlier Health IT Now whitepaper 

WASHINGTON, DC (November 28, 2018): Health IT Now - a broad-based coalition of patient groups, provider organizations, employers, and payers supporting the use of data and health information technology to improve healthcare - responded today to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT's (ONC) newly released draft strategy on "Reducing Regulatory and Administrative Burden Relating to the Use of Health IT and EHRs." 

The draft report follows Health IT Now's joint whitepaper with the Bipartisan Policy Center released earlier this year, entitled "The Future Role of Government in Health Information Technology and Digital Health." ONC head Dr. Don Rucker joined Health IT Now at a February press event to launch the whitepaper. 

Health IT Now Executive Director Joel White released the following statement: 

"For too long, federal regulation of health IT has favored reporting and process over care and treatment. Doctors have been saddled with regulations that steal time from patient care and rarely deliver on promises of improvements - a problem we highlighted earlier this year when we brought together nearly 50 leading individuals and organizations to call for reform," said HITN Executive Director Joel White. "We are heartened by today's release of ONC's draft strategy on reducing the burdens associated with use of health IT and EHRs, and are hopeful that this is the start of a new chapter in the federal regulation of health IT. While we continue to review ONC's draft strategy in detail, its acknowledgment of the onerous burdens that remain around EHR reporting, clinical documentation, and overall health IT usability is significant, and its proposed reforms - many of which complement the findings of our earlier report  - are a worthy first step. We look forward to our continued engagement with ONC throughout this process and to finalization and implementation of a robust burden reduction strategy that helps, rather than hinders, clinicians' ability to provide patient-centered, 21st-century care." 

Health IT Now and the Bipartisan Policy Center, along with nearly 50 individuals representing clinicians, patients, hospitals, and technology companies, released a report The Future Role of Government in Health Information Technology and Digital Health - in February of this year. It called for a more modern health IT and digital health framework that assures consumer protections, reduces burden among users and developers, and accelerates innovation.

Read the full text of the report here and Health IT Now Executive Director Joel White's op-ed in Roll Call alongside the BPC's Janet Marchibroda here