Grass­ley seeks more info on IT ven­dor re­la­tion­ships

Modern Healthcare - - Late News -

Sen. Chuck Grass­ley (R-Iowa) sent a let­ter ask­ing 31 hos­pi­tals and sys­tems to re­port on their re­la­tion­ships with health­care in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy ven­dors, fo­cus­ing on er­rors caused by IT sys­tems and on so-called “gag or­der or nondis­clo­sure clauses” in ven­dor con­tracts that might pro­hibit the hos­pi­tals from dis­clos­ing in­for­ma­tion about sys­tem flaws. Grass­ley said the hospi­tal let­ter was a fol­low-up to a sim­i­lar re­quest for in­for­ma­tion he made in Oc­to­ber 2009 to 10 ma­jor health IT sys­tems de­vel­op­ers. Grass­ley said in a writ­ten state­ment that he was con­cerned about “dif­fi­cul­ties and chal­lenges” with health IT im­ple­men­ta­tions in light of the bil­lions of dol­lars that will be spent on health IT un­der the Amer­i­can Re­cov­ery and Rein­vest­ment Act of 2009. The let­ter asked the hos­pi­tals to re­spond to 11 ques­tions, sev­eral of which fo­cused on IT-re­lated er­rors, re­stric­tions in ven­dor con­tracts bar­ring providers from dis­cussing or re­port­ing prob­lems with their soft­ware and fi­nan­cial re­la­tion­ships be­tween hos­pi­tals and ven­dors. In­cluded among the hos­pi­tals and sys­tems queried were In­ter­moun­tain Health­care, Salt Lake City; 833-bed Van­der­bilt Uni­ver­sity Med­i­cal Cen­ter, Nashville; and 907-bed Mas­sachusetts Gen­eral Hospi­tal, Bos­ton.

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