A recent report by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) found that some health care entities are purposefully hindering the exchange of electronic health information (referred to as “blocking”) for reasons driven by economic and market incentives. Although the federal government has thus far invested $28 billion to facilitate the

The Federal Trade Commission’s (“FTC”) Office of Policy Planning, Bureau of Competition, Bureau of Consumer Protection, and Bureau of Economics recently submitted comments on the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC’s) draft Shared Nationwide Interoperability Roadmap (“Roadmap”). As discussed in previous posts, this Roadmap sets forth a ten year plan to develop and implement a nationwide interoperable health information infrastructure. The FTC’s comments focus on (1) creation of a supportive business and regulatory environment that encourages interoperability; (2) shared governance mechanisms; and (3) the advancement of technical standards.
Continue Reading FTC Staff Submit Comments On ONC’s Draft Shared Nationwide Interoperability Roadmap

Last week, the Senate Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, Innovation, and the Internet held a hearing on “Advancing Telehealth through Connectivity.” The hearing explored the need to expand telehealth nationwide, with a particular focus on rural areas.

Several experts lauded the benefits of telehealth, including helping to lower health care costs and improve patient outcomes. However,

On April 10th, CMS issued a new proposed rule modifying Stage 2 requirements for meaningful use under the Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive program. According to CMS, the rule is “intended to be responsive to provider concerns about software implementation, information exchange readiness, and other related concerns in 2015.” The newly proposed modifications are also intended to “allow providers to focus more closely on the advanced use of certified EHR technology.” This rule is separate from the proposed rule implementing Stage 3 of the meaningful use objectives, which CMS released earlier this month.
Continue Reading CMS Releases Proposed Rules Modifying Stage 2 of EHR’s Meaningful Use Requirements

A study published in the March 2015 issue of Communications of the ACM (Association for Computing Machinery) revealed that 91% of health-related websites initiated some type of HTTP request (HTTP is a request/response protocol, by which, for example, a computer sends a request for a file and the web server sends back a response) to third parties and that approximately 70% of those requests included sensitive information about specific symptoms, treatments, or diseases.
Continue Reading Study Finds That Majority of Health-Related Websites Share Personal Information With Third-Parties

This year’s State of the Union address included little explicit discussion of health IT, but did highlight two areas that could have significant implications for health IT: the President announced a new “Precision Medicine Initiative” and also urged Congress to pass legislation to combat cyber attacks and prevent identity theft.

While the address was scant