The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee today held a hearing on “achieving the promise of health information technology.” In a statement submitted for the record, AHA said it recommends using existing structures in the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record Incentive Programs to promote information sharing. “Adding additional policy drivers aimed at encouraging providers to share health information would be unnecessary, and could prove counterproductive, if they become overly prescriptive or contradict the larger set of payment incentives and quality initiatives in place,” AHA said. The association said hospitals need more flexibility under EHR “meaningful use” requirements, which hold hospitals accountable for events outside their control; interoperability standards should be mature and have clear implementation guidance before federal regulations mandate their use; and policy changes are needed to hold vendors accountable for the design and marketing of interoperable products.