The Department of Health and Human Services is looking to make meaningful use of electronic health records “more flexible and much more focused on clinical outcomes and interoperability” as it implements changes to the Medicare physician payment system under the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015, National Health Information Technology Coordinator Karen DeSalvo, M.D., said at a House subcommittee hearing yesterday on “opportunities and challenges in advancing health information technology.” She was responding to Rep. William Hurd (R-TX), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on Information Technology, who cited concerns that meaningful use “is getting in the way of innovation.” Also testifying at the hearing were officials from the Federal Trade Commission, Healthcare Leadership Council, Intel Healthcare and Life Sciences, and National Partnership for Women and Families. A recent AHA TrendWatch report found that hospitals are improving their ability to share information, but external barriers to increased data exchange remain.

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