Federal policy impedes free flow of patient data
Regarding the Vital Signs blog post “ACOs struggle with advanced IT, interoperability, survey shows” (ModernHealthcare.com, Sept. 24), accountable care organizations will continue to have challenges with information technology, not just because of the many IT systems involved, but also because the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act and the HITECH Act work against electronic sharing of patient information. HIPAA/HITECH hurdles and super-high penalties— even when best intentions are made to safeguard patient data—severely limit the free flow of patient data.
Why does our government keep adding to the high cost of healthcare? Just as with federal education policy, federal healthcare policy dances around the elephant in the room. Patients should be responsible for their health—not providers—and parents should be responsible for their kids’ performance in school—not teachers. That being said, providers and teachers should be held to performance standards for professionals in their industries.
Holly Sailers Carrollton, Ga.