“The April release of Reboot: Re-examining the Strategies Needed to Successfully Adopt Health IT, co-authored by Republican Senators Lamar Alexander (TN), Richard Burr (NC), Tom Coburn (OK), Michael B. Enzi (WY), Pat Roberts (KS), and John Thune (SD), concludes in its 27-page report, “The details of federal law and regulation may be inadvertently incentivizing unworkable, incoherent policy goals that ultimately make it difficult to achieve interoperability.” The Senators call for a “reboot” of the federal electronic health record (EHR) incentive program with the creation of a system that allows seamless sharing of EHRs in a manner that appropriately guards taxpayer dollars as a stated goal.”
Hard to believe that having spent billions to put in place bloatware that has its foundation in ancient billing systems, a campaign is now being put together to spend billions more to “fix” a problem that really does not exist.
So, YES to “inadvertently incentivizing unworkable, incoherent policy goals that ultimately make it difficult” (their words, not mine) but NO to “inadvertently incentivizing unworkable, incoherent policy goals that ultimately make it difficult to achieve interoperability”.
Regarding interoperability, a CA healthcare organization is well along the way to allowing participating clinics to access its e-hub application to exchange CCDs, hospital visit HL7s, images, pdfs, videos plus any additional structured and free-form data that publishers are willing to share.
Therefore, “creation of a system that allows seamless sharing of EHRs in a manner that appropriately guards taxpayer dollars as a stated goal” is a bad idea.
Interoperability – been there, done that.
Why not take off-the-shelf “seamless sharing” solutions that work with any subset of the EHRs in place and just plug these in?
This is bad news to lobbyists who favor expensive, time-consuming “solutions”.
Of course, you need facilities in EHRs to export their own data and facilities at the receiving end to import data but there are multiple references in the MU criteria that cite data export as a requirement.
Once audits start to ensure that organizations are making meaningful use of MU software, if it turns out some EHRs cannot export their data, then the government should reasonably claw back some of the incentive payments it has paid out.
Too bad the probably well-intended Senators do not follow some of these LinkedIn discussion groups.
The “best way to guard taxpayer dollars” IMO is to avoid unnecessary spending on top of outrageous amounts that have already been spent.
One of my mentors used to say “an elegant solution to the wrong problem is worse that no solution at all”.