Six Republican senators voiced "significant concerns" with the government's implementation of the HITECH Act and meaningful use program in a letter to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius. The letter says their concerns include "the lack of data to support the Administration's assertions that this taxpayer investment is being appropriately spent and actually achieving the goal of interoperable health IT."
They also asked for a list of every contract or task order awarded under the HITECH Act.
A 28-page white paper, "REBOOT: Re-examining the Strategies Needed to Successfully Adopt Health IT," accompanied the letter. It lists list five implementation deficiencies:
- Lack of clear path towards interoperability,
- Increased costs,
- Lack of oversight;
- Patient privacy at risk, and
- Program sustainability.
The senators asked Secretary Sebelius to respond by June 16.
TMA has shared some of the same concerns in various comment letters to HHS and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology. To review TMA's comments, log on to the EHR Incentive Program Resource Center on the TMA website and scroll down to Advocacy.
For more information about the electronic health record incentive program or other health information technology issues, contact TMA's HIT Department at (800) 880-5720 or by email.
Action, May 1, 2013