A House Energy and Commerce Committee bill that would levy draconian penalties on EHR vendors for blocking patient data flows won praise from physician and health IT advocacy groups Wednesday, along with a wary reception from the organization that represents healthcare IT executives. The bill flatly disappointed advocates for enhanced use of telemedicine.
HHS would begin publishing the names of EHR vendors that block information in January 2018 and could issue fines or even decertify their products beginning in 2019 under the interoperability section of the new 21st Century Cures bill, which was to be marked up in subcommittee Thursday.
… The bill’s framers left in brackets, in many locations, the decision about whether to describe its measures as covering all health IT or just EHRs. The distinction was important to some groups such as the West Health Institute, which has been working to ensure that regulated medical devices are included in the definition of health IT. “We applaud the bipartisan leadership of the members of the House of Representatives to continue to drive this approach forward,” said Nick Valeriani, the institute’s CEO.