The health systems say they’re worried the interoperability rule “will be overly burdensome on our health system and will endanger patient privacy.” HHS Secretary Alex Azar has in the past expressed frustration that stakeholders push back fiercely against the rules. In other news at the intersection of health and technology: why electronic health records annoy burned-out doctors, a software deal, and a fraud charge.
CNBC: Epic, About 60 Hospitals Sign Letter Opposing HHS Proposed Data Rules
Epic Systems CEO Judy Faulkner recently urged some of the largest health systems in the country to sign a letter opposing proposed rules designed to make it easier for patients to obtain their medical information and share it with apps. About 60 of these hospitals and clinics have signed it. The letter, which was obtained by CNBC, was addressed to Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and opposed proposed rules designed to help medical information flow more easily between health systems and patients. The rules also aim to make clinical data accessible through application programming interfaces (APIs). (Farr, 2/5)
Boston Globe: Why Burned-Out Doctors Despise Electronic Health Records
More than half of physicians reported symptoms of burnout in a 2014 study, and while that rate dropped to 43 percent in a 2017 follow-up, it is still much higher than the rate for all US workers, which stayed essentially flat in those years. What has gone wrong with our once beloved profession? A report in The American Journal of Medicine last year looked at this question. It defined burnout as 1) lacking a sense of accomplishment, 2) cynicism, and 3) lack of enthusiasm for our work. It found that the one thing in medicine that seemed to correlate with the rise of burnout was the electronic medical record, introduced in 2008. A Stanford study showed that 71 percent of doctors say that electronic health records contribute to burnout. (Shem, 2/5)
Modern Healthcare: Cerner Sells Software To Germany Company For $247 Million
Cerner Corp. is preparing to sell part of its software portfolio in Germany and Spain to support an ongoing effort to improve the company’s operating margin. The company on Wednesday announced it had entered into an agreement to sell a set of software products used in Germany and Spain to CompuGroup Medical, a German health information technology company, for about $247.5 million. The products generated an estimated $81.4 million in revenue for Cerner during 2019. (Cohen, 2/5)
Modern Healthcare: Telemedicine Co. Owners Charged In $56 Million Medicare Fraud Case
Federal prosecutors on Wednesday charged the owners of two telemedicine companies with defrauding Medicare in a $56 million bribery and kickback scheme involving orthotic braces. Reinaldo Wilson and Jean Wilson of Richmond Hill, Ga., were each charged with six counts in the indictment. The husband and wife owned Advantage Choice Care and Tele Medcare and used the companies to solicit kickbacks and bribes from patient recruiters, pharmacies and brace supplies, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. They would then hire providers to order medically unnecessary braces for Medicare beneficiaries. (2/5)
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