Today, Representative Diane Black (R-TN 6) and Representative Mike Honda (D-CA 17) sent a joint letter to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) voicing their support for the reduction of barriers to information sharing through electronic health records.
“Health information technology has the potential to reshape our country’s health care delivery system, transitioning to a more coordinated structure where information can be easily transferred among patients and providers to support improved patient outcomes, quality of life and lower costs,” said the Congressmen. “To reach this shared goal, all providers, health systems, hospitals, and patients must have access to real-time, accurate, and actionable health information.”
In their letter the Congressmen criticize the practice known as information blocking and call for its elimination. Information blocking occurs when health care providers or electronic health record vendors purposefully block information exchange between electronic health record systems as a business practice.
"We are grateful to Congressmen Black and Honda for supporting the elimination of the unacceptable practice of information blocking,” said Joel White, Executive Director for Health IT Now. “These practices put patients in harm’s way, frustrate care coordination efforts and circumvent the goals of the Electronic Health Record Incentive Program, wasting taxpayer dollars in the process. Health IT Now encourages HHS to end information blocking in the Stark and Anti-kickback rules when they are finalized later this year. "