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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Interoperababble update update

Lack of EHR interoperability 'fraud' against taxpayers
July 22, 2014 | By Marla Durben Hirsch

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 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...
"It may be time for this committee to take a closer look at the practices of vendor companies in this space given the possibility that fraud may be perpetrated against the American taxpayer," he added...
I'm not a big fan of this hyperpartisan reactionary Gingrey fellow (who recently -- falsely -- claimed that central American child refugees were bringing Ebola into the U.S.), but even a broken clock is right twice a day.

Epic has certainly Made Bank on MU. In large measure that owes to Efficient Markets Hypothesis 101: Opacity (plus barriers to entry, I would add) = Margin. The most transparent markets are by definition the least profitable, according to standard economic theory (rational actors all pursuing self-interest, each possessing "perfect information," "market clearing price," and all that).

I refer you yet again to my Interop rant. See also my related antecedent "Interoperababble update" post.

Health IT Now recommends HHS, Congress take steps against non-interoperable systems
June 18, 2014 | By Marla Durben Hirsch

Health IT Now, buoyed by RAND's recent report on electronic health records, has called on the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Congress to "decertify systems that require additional modules, expenses, and customization to share data," and to investigate business practices that prohibit or restrict data sharing in federal incentive programs...
I won't be holding my breath.

Who are these people?

I've been one of their twitter followers. They have not reciprocated thus far.

This CEO is out for blood
by  Roger Parloff, Fortune

Elizabeth Holmes founded her revolutionary blood diagnostics company, Theranos, when she was 19. It’s now worth more than $9 billion, and poised to change health care...

Theranos today is a potentially highly disruptive upstart in America’s $73 billion diagnostic-lab industry, which performs nearly 10 billion tests a year and is estimated to provide the basis for about 70% of doctors’ medical decisions. Medicare and Medicaid each pay roughly $10 billion annually on reimbursements for these tests...
I read this yesterday in my wife's hardcopy. Pretty interesting. Brilliant young woman. This lab-on-a-chip market is a rather crowded space, though (but, they're likely to push back "that's not our business line"). See my posts from the Health 2.0 Conference in Santa Clara last fall.

One more reason to short Quest and Labcorp.

More to come...

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