Medicaid IT platforms

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CMS To Invest $5+ Billion a Year in Open Source and Cloud-based IT Infrastructure for Medicaid

After more than 40 years of relying on monolithic mainframe platforms to administer its services, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has embraced a new modular, open and agile approach to Medicaid health information technology for the Federal government and States. In many ways, this is the best of what open source advocates and technology innovators could have hoped for when it comes to open source policy from a government agency. According to Andrew Slavitt, Acting Administrator of CMS, the agency will spend more than $5 billion a year to fund this transformation.

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Obama and Biden Blast EHR Vendors for Data Blocking

As they are winding their terms in office, President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden dropped a stink bomb on the health IT industry. Speaking at different events on Friday, January 9th, the President and Vice President both criticized proprietary electronic health record (EHR) vendors as the primary obstacle to the success of their administration’s health care strategy. This is the highest level acknowledgment so far of the serious impact that “lock-in” EHR software vendors are having on America’s medical infrastructure and the ability of physicians to provide medical care.

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The 1.5+ Trillion Dollar HITECH Act

Hopefully, the public statements made by President Obama and Vice President Biden will lead to a public debate over the monumental problems that the HITECH Act and proprietary EHR vendors have caused the American people. While the press continues to report the figure of $35 billion as the cost of implementing EHRs, that figure does not tell the entire story. Perhaps the next step is to provide accountability and transparency. That would start with firm numbers regarding the real costs of EHR implementations forced on an unprepared healthcare system by the HITECH Act.

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