The proposed regulations for health information exchange could unintentionally stifle innovation and hinder the growth of data exchange, a possibility that has the eHealth Initiative (eHI) quite concerned.
In a letter submitted this week to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) as part of a public comment period, eHI expressed concern that ONC is attempting to overregulate an activity that is still evolving.
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"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 health information exchange 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.
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eHI officials said that many private stakeholders, including eHI, have an in-depth understanding of health information exchange. 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 health information exchange.
eHI maintained that by incorporating the viewpoints of additional stakeholders, ONC will be better equipped to implement a regulatory approach for its Nationwide Health Information Network (NwHIn).