With HHS finalizing its new interoperability rules, the rift between industry providers is growing wider every day.

Industry Rift Over HHS Interoperability Rules Grows Even Wider

With HHS aiming to finalize its new interoperability rules by the end of the month, there’s no shortage of controversy – especially when it comes to the ever-growing rift between industry providers.

It all started before the 2020 ONC Annual Conference where Epic CEO emailed a wide-range of hospital leaders, asking them to speak out against the proposed regulation that makes it easier for patients to access their health information.

In response, HHS Secretary Alex Aza stated that “scare tactics are not going to stop the reforms we need,” at the ONC Annual Conference. He also said that “defending the current balkanized state and status quo is a highly unpopular position to take.”

As you can imagine, those that support the new interoperability rule, came out in favor of it. On January 27th, Apple, Cerner and Microsoft voiced their strong support for efforts to give patients access to their health data.

Both sides have made their case, but it’s not over yet.

Last week, Epic came out with a letter signed by 60 health systems opposing the new rule. Around the same time last week, Cerner Chairman and CEO Brent Shafer voiced his company’s support of the rule in an earnings call. Specifically, he said that, “we look forward to continuing our work with the ONC, clients, and other key stakeholders to ensure the secure flow of information across disparate systems and health care entities.”

We will surely see further communications and lobbying efforts from both sides in the coming weeks. The clock is ticking – the new rules will be published on March 5th – with a 60-day comment period open to responses from the public until May 3.

Be sure to catch up on our health data exchange-related content below.

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