Pew, AMIA Protest Cuts in ONC’s FY18 Bud­get

Health Data Management - - WASHINGTON REPORT - —Joseph Goed­ert

FULL IM­PLE­MEN­TA­TION OF THE 21ST CEN­TURY Cures Act to ac­cel­er­ate med­i­cal break­throughs could be in jeop­ardy if pro­posed bud­get cuts to the Of­fice of the Na­tional Coordinator for Health In­for­ma­tion Tech­nol­ogy are not re­stored, ac­cord­ing to the Pew Char­i­ta­ble Trusts and the Amer­i­can Med­i­cal In­for­mat­ics As­so­ci­a­tion.

A let­ter from the or­ga­ni­za­tions to four con­gres­sional lead­ers warns that pro­posed bud­get cuts planned for ONC will ham­per its ef­forts to im­ple­ment the Cures Act.

The House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives bud­get pro­posal calls for a $38.3 mil­lion bud­get for ONC in Fis­cal Year 2018, down from $60.3 mil­lion in FY 2017, and the Se­nate pro­posal calls for a con­tin­u­a­tion bud­get next year of $60.3 mil­lion, said the let­ter, signed by Ben Moscov­itch, man­ager of health in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­ogy at Pew and Jef­fery Smith, vice pres­i­dent for pub­lic pol­icy at AMIA.

The let­ter was ad­dressed to Se­na­tors Roy Blunt (RMo.) and Patty Mur­ray (D-Wash.), and Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Tom Cole (R-Okla.) and Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), who all hold pow­er­ful po­si­tions over­see­ing La­bor, Health and Hu­man Ser­vices and Ed­u­ca­tion bud­gets.

Re­cent tes­ti­mony from ONC Deputy Na­tional Coordinator Jon White in­di­cated that the agency would not be able to fully fund bi­par­ti­san pro­vi­sions in the Cures Act, in­clud­ing ini­tia­tives to im­prove the trans­parency, in­ter­op­er­abil­ity and us­abil­ity of elec­tronic health records, Moscov­itch and Smith note in their joint let­ter.

How­ever, ef­forts are on­go­ing to ed­u­cate law­mak­ers on the frus­tra­tions physi­cians face when work­ing with EHRs, Moscov­itch says. The chal­lenges of in­ter­op­er­abil­ity and us­abil­ity can bring safety con­cerns, he notes.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.