Mostashari Says Better EHR Marketplace Could Help Boost Competition

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During the Government Health IT Conference in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, National Coordinator for Health IT Farzad Mostashari said a better marketplace for electronic health records could improve competition among vendors, Government Health IT reports.

Mostashari noted that although nearly 750 EHR products have been certified for Stage 1 of the meaningful use program, there are no resources providing direct comparisons of features and prices for the various EHR tools. Under the 2009 economic stimulus package, health care providers who demonstrate meaningful use of certified electronic health records can qualify for Medicaid and Medicare incentive payments.

Mostashari added that competition in the EHR market has been undermined by "classic causes of market failure," such as the high costs of switching EHR systems. "We need to create a better marketplace," he said (Sullivan, Government Health IT, 6/15).

Other Speakers

Also during the conference, HHS CTO Todd Park discussed HHS' Health Data Initiative, which aims to make health data more accessible to the public. He noted that HHS recently launched HealthData.gov, which could serve as "the one-stop place" for community health data, veterans' data, CMS health care provider directories and quality data (Zigmond, Modern Healthcare, 6/15).

Additional speakers at the conference included:

  • Dixie Baker -- SAIC senior vice president and chief technology officer for health solutions -- who said that building trust among consumers by protecting the security of health data could be an "essential enabler" for widespread EHR adoption (Mosquera, Government Health IT, 6/14); and
  • Doug Fridsma -- director of ONC's office of interoperability and standards -- said the agency is working to develop governance for the Nationwide Health Information Network so more health care providers can participate in the data exchange (Sullivan, Government Health IT, 6/14).

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