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Electronic Health Record Association Underscores Support for Interoperability

December 19, 2014
by John DeGaspari
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The HIMSS EHR Association has reiterated its position that the federal government’s focus on interoperability is appropriate, and supports that more measurement and evaluation in this area.

EHRA provided a statement on Dec. 17 on specific de-certification provisions in report language accompanying the FY 2015 spending bill. That statement reflects the concern that an approach focused on de-certification may not best address the varied and complex reasons that information flow can be encouraged, including those related to technology and standards, provider policies, legislative and regulatory limitations, and a payment system that does not yet appropriately incentivize concentrated efforts of data exchange,” said Mark Segal, Ph.D., EHRA chair and vice president, Government and Industry Affairs, GE healthcare IT. He added: “Given the importance of data exchange, we support the broader study on interoperability called by the spending bill report, and have consistently suggested that the next stage of the EHR Incentive Program focus on interoperability.”

The full statement regarding the data exchange and interoperability providsions of the  report language accompanying the FY 2015 federal spending bill is as follows:

“We appreciate and agree with the strong congressional focus on interoperability, and think that the called-for Health IT Policy Committee study on barriers to interoperability is timely and aligned with the ONC interoperability roadmap. The EHR Association supports interoperability efforts and has key provisions regarding interoperability in the EHR Developer Code of Conduct we developed and released in 2013. As such, our members are focused on meeting the interoperability needs of their customers, and we believe that any inquiry by ONC will confirm this assessment. We do not believe that the concept of de-certifying products that met and continue to meet federal interoperability criteria, which align with meaningful use requirements, would be an effective solution to the challenges faced by providers tasked with exchanging data. In fact, we believe that would introduce costly uncertainty into the industry and would prevent clients using such products from attesting for meaningful use or employing them in other important delivery reform initiatives.”

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