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CCHIT fate could be decided today

Reformers like David Kibbe and Fred Trotter continue to sound alarmed in their statements to the media, but what I call the Markle Letter, emphasizing the importance of getting meaningful feedback to line physicians as the basis for subsidies, may yet cut out the vendor group.
Written by Dana Blankenhorn, Inactive on

Will CCHIT, a government-funded agency created by the health IT industry group HIMSS, be given the power to certify Electronic Health Record (EHR) solutions' eligibility for $19.2 billion in HITECH stimulus dollars?

That question could be decided today, after NCHIT David Blumenthal meets with his advisory committee, and all evidence indicates CCHIT faces an uphill battle.

That's because groups representing customers have weighed in against it. Lobbyists for health reform itself have lobbied against it. Even the American Medical Informatics Association, which represents Health IT buyers, questions whether giving CCHIT a gatekeeper control conforms with its goals.

CCHIT's response is that it has learned its lesson, that it will work with open source, and that it will listen to reformers. Customer groups like the American Hospital Association are trying to water down the guidelines, rendering them effectively meaningless.

Behind the scenes, however, CCHIT has lined up lobbyists to insist it be the "sole certifier" of what gear meets whatever meaningful use guidelines are specified. This is its bottom line, and will remain its goal until a final certification decision is made in December.

Reformers like David Kibbe and Fred Trotter continue to sound alarmed in their statements to the media, but what I call the Markle Letter, emphasizing the importance of getting meaningful feedback to line physicians as the basis for subsidies, may yet cut out the vendor group.

But I have been wrong before...

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