Health IT Now Touts AI, Blockchain in Comments to the Health Care Innovation Caucus

WASHINGTON, DC (August 16, 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 this week to a request for information (RFI) from the Health Care Innovation Caucus on the role of technology in aiding the shift toward value-based care. 

In its comments, Health IT Now touted the unique role that artificial intelligence (AI) can play in supporting value-based arrangements (VBAs), writing: "The promise of AI lies with its unique ability to work with existing data instead of generating its own. This means that the vast amounts of data already challenging our healthcare system may be effectively leveraged to make the practice of care delivery, clinical study, and health system design more effective. Expanding the Qualified Entity program to allow AI to access the vast and unplumbed data financed by taxpayers, but unused by the public would be a good first step." 

Health IT Now further called upon the Caucus to harness the potential of blockchain - a real-time, unalterable distributed ledger system that is already disrupting other industries - to further improve health outcomes. 

"Blockchain-based technologies will allow multiple providers who are not utilizing the same database to securely share and manage patient information – essential to supporting VBAs. This technology is the future of data management, and we encourage Congress to more fully explore the potential of blockchain in VBAs through a CMMI [Center for Medicare & Medicaid Innovation] demonstration program," explained Health IT Now in its letter. 

The letter additionally urges lawmakers to enact revisions to the Stark Law to better facilitate interoperability and to make permanent a temporary exception to the Anti Kickback Statute (AKS) for donated technology.

The coalition rounded out its recommendations to the Caucus by directing lawmakers to work with the administration to ensure speedy implementation of long-awaited information blocking regulations required under the 21st Century Cures Act - also the subject of a recent Health IT Now-led letter to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) and the HHS Office of Inspector General (OIG). 

Read Health IT Now's full comments to the Health Care Innovation Caucus here