“I am concerned,” Warner wrote, “that some of the decisions that have been made, such as the current certification policies, jeopardize the long-term goal of using health information technology to improve patient care, to increase coordination among providers and hospitals, and to reduce skyrocketing health care costs.”
For the next stage of the program, Warner wrote, regulators should:
• Require providers to submit data electronically and allow the Medicare agency to conduct “aggressive oversight of the program”;
• Mandate “clear and robust” requirements that certified Health Information Technology be able to communicate and exchange data with different types of healthcare providers and systems, including health information exchanges; and
• Support electronic access by consumers, including the ability to download data in a useful format.
“Rather than lowering our standards,” Warner wrote, “we should collectively do more to make sure providers and hospitals can meet the bar.”