Lack of EHR interoperability is 'fraud' against taxpayers

Marla Durben Hirsch | FierceEMR | July 22, 2014

Electronic health record vendors--particularly Epic--may not deserve Meaningful Use incentive money because their systems hinder data sharing, according to physician-turned-lawmaker Rep. Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.).

In a July 17 hearing of the House Energy and Commerce Committee's subcommittee on Communications and Technology and Health, Gingrey (pictured) questioned whether the nation is currently on a path of interoperability or whether changes to the law need to be made. He expressed concern that according to a recent RAND report, more than half of the $24 billion spent by the Meaningful Use program has gone to Epic, a vendor operating a "closed platform."

Pointing out that the committee has jurisdiction over the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT and the HITECH Act--which created the Meaningful Use program--Gingrey said that if the RAND report is true, "we have been subsidizing systems that block information instead of allowing for information transfers, which was never the intent of the [HITECH] statute.