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ehealth Initiative Urges ONC to Reconsider HIE Approach

The eHealth Initiative (eHI) stated that the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology's (ONC) proposed regulations for health information exchange (HIE) could unintentionally stifle innovation and hinder the growth of data exchange. In a letter submitted to ONC as part of a public comment period, eHI expressed concern that ONC is attempting to overregulate an activity that is still evolving.

"ONC's proposed regulations could potentially hamper, not enhance, the growth and development of the health information exchange sector," said Jennifer Covich Bordenick, eHI's CEO. "Therefore, we strongly recommend that ONC take a step back, seek more input from additional stakeholders, and develop a revised approach that better supports the acceleration of trusted data exchange."

While HIE continues to develop, eHI strongly recommends that ONC create a more flexible framework to support the use of today's laws, regulations and consensus-based standards and still allow for innovation needed for the future. According to eHI, it is far too early to enforce the regulatory approach proposed by ONC.

Many private stakeholders, such as eHI, have an in-depth understanding of HIE. Therefore, eHI asserts that participation by organizations from the public and private sectors is crucial to identifying the best governance and regulatory standards that meet the current and future needs of HIE. eHI stated that by incorporating the viewpoints of additional stakeholders, ONC will be better equipped to implement a regulatory approach for its Nationwide Health Information Network.

Download a copy of eHI's comment letter at www.ehealthinitiative.org/resources/finish/88-ehi-comment-letters/469-ehealth-initiatives-comment-letter-on-nwhin-rfi-response-06262012.html.

Source: eHealth Initiative