CCongressional Affairs House Passes 21st Century Cures Act, includes Interoperability, Patient ID Provisions Key Takeaway: On Friday, the House passed the 21st Century Cures Act (HR 6), which in addition to increase NIH funding by $8.5 billion, included a number of EHR and health information exchange directives.
Great steps forward from Congress in support of interoperability using both incentive funds to develop solutions to the current obstacles to sharing of healthcare information and providing penalties for medical entities that engage in blocking of this exchange. The Congressional “carrot and stick” approach provides support for medical innovators to design solutions and financial penalties for entities that block the free exchange of health information between stakeholders.
Efficient healthcare practice also requires methods for a patient’s medical providers within separate information systems to collaborate. A Healthcare Collaboration Platform could allow stakeholders to collaborate within a vendor agnostic work space in a manner very similar to the progress notes section of old hospital chart. Providers, payors, patients, and regulators could contribute clinically pertinent content from a variety of health information sources to a Federated record and collaborate rather than simply exchanging content through interoperability chains. Medical decision making could be expedited and duplication of services could be reduced through this Meaningful Collaboration between medical providers.
Congratulations to Congress for laying the groundwork for future healthcare innovation.
Douglas K Smith MD, CPHIMS