Political change=HIT policy change? Time for a rethink?

With Republicans as of January controlling the main legislative and budgeting body of the US, the House of Representatives, and with increased strength in the Senate, what will be the impact on HIT and on ‘healthcare reform’ as it affects eHealth? Dan Rode, VP policy and government relations at the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), quoted in an interview with Healthcare IT News: ‘there will be a situation in the House where all expenditures will be looked at very closely’ and that may include the use of ‘stimulus’ money for EHR incentives. Justin Barnes, VP of EHR vendor Greenway, believes the opposite – little effect on EHR funding as HITECH has had bipartisan support for years.

From this article and other commentary this editor [Donna] has read, it’s reforming ‘reform’ and cutting spending first for the new members of Congress, who won’t be there long if they do not.  It’s all up for grabs:  the timetable, state insurance exchanges, health care delivery and payment, accountable care organizations (ACO), liability reform and FDA regulation–and EHR ‘meaningful use’ may be stretched out over more than two years as adoption is still sluggish.   Healthcare IT News

But is it time for a rethink on the very thing that is burning up HIT resource bandwidth like a demon, giving doctors agita like a tummyful of Halloween candy, and sucked a lot of air out of the telehealth/eHealth room? Dan Morreale at HealthSystemCIO posits that EHRs in their present form are already obsolete:  1) designed on provider and hospital-centric care, not collaborative models (e.g. ACO),  2) have limited capacity to present a complete view of the patient to dispersed caregivers, 3) analytics generally require pulling information to create reports and 4) aren’t interoperable with PHRs and other patient data sources.  Jeff Rowe of HITECH Watch also calculates the policymakers’ frustration.  Perhaps sluggish adoption of EHRs is a good thing?  Forget everything you know about healthcare information systems. Jeff Rowe’s POV in HealthcareITNews