About 60 health systems are siding with Epic CEO Judy Faulkner, who is urging hospitals and clinics to take a stand against the Department of Health and Human Services rules designed to make it easier to share medical records data with patients and apps. Technology companies like Apple, Alphabet and Microsoft have taken the opposite stance and support rules to modernize medical data sharing.
Epic Systems CEO Judy Faulkner recently urged some of the largest health systems in the country to sign a letter opposing proposed rules designed to make it easier for patients to obtain their medical information and share it with apps…
The letter, which was obtained by CNBC, was addressed to Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and opposed proposed rules designed to help medical information flow more easily between health systems and patients. The rules also aim to make clinical data accessible through application programming interfaces (APIs).
Epic, which is privately held, sells its electronic medical record software to hospitals across the country and is one of the largest health-technology companies in the U.S. An Epic installation is a major undertaking and can cost upwards of $1 billion for a major health system to implement…
A spokesperson for HHS told CNBC that it did indeed receive the letter. “We appreciate all stakeholder feedback as we continue to finalize the rules,” they said. “Our ultimate goal is to ensure that patients are able to easily access their electronic medical records.”
MacDailyNews Take: If the Department of Health and Human Services wants to achieve their ultimate goal, they will ignore Epic Systems which seems to see a threat to its very (overly) profitable business model from an actual system that allows patients and providers to securely obtain and share medical records; a major, and costly problem (in both money and lives), among many, that exists in healthcare today. Right now, in 2020, it’s still common for health systems to only make health data available via a CD-ROM or fax! Some patients are denied access altogether. It’s ridiculous. Some companies, like Apple, want to fix this problem. Other companies want the status quo to remain and the big profits that come along with it.
It’s past time for this mess to be modernized, as long as Apple-level standards on privacy and security can be achieved since this is obviously sensitive data and maintaining privacy is of the utmost concern.
One of the biggest issues in healthcare in the U.S. today is that there is no “Quartberback” – someone running the effort, coordinating the various specialists, making sure everyone is on the same page with the treatment plan(s), drug interactions, allergies, etc. A “playbook” showing the full picture of the patient’s health data would be very useful – and let the disparate medical personnel each quarterback on their own. Hopefully, Apple can step in, build, and fulfill this need with the company’s vaunted security and privacy. — MacDailyNews, August 22, 2016