AHA yesterday expressed concern that certain enforcement mechanisms contemplated for health care providers to further interoperability in the 21st Century Cures legislation are inappropriate and could have significant unintended consequences. “We appreciate the inclusion of provisions to further interoperability in Subtitle A of Title III of the 21st Century Cures legislation,” AHA Executive Vice President Rick Pollack said in a letter to the House Energy and Commerce Committee. “However, we are concerned that the heavy-handed and duplicative enforcement mechanisms contemplated for providers could have significant unintended consequences, including undermining new models of care and setting up an environment where well-intentioned providers face significant penalties for small mistakes.” He added, “We appreciate your intent to hold vendors accountable for the design and marketing of interoperable products, and recommend that you ask the Federal Trade Commission to conduct a study of anti-competitive behavior by EHR vendors.” In addition, he said, “we still lack significant technical capabilities and infrastructure to support efficient and effective health information exchange. We believe that there are positive steps that would further our shared goals, such as more robust testing of health information technology products and greater commitment to developing and maturing data standards.”

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