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Capitol Health Call
June 12, 2013

Rebooting Health IT

JAMA. 2013;309(22):2317. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.6817

The federal program that provides incentives for the adoption of electronic health records requires a “reboot,” conclude 6 Republican senators in a white paper issued on April 16 (http://tinyurl.com/bu2ssqz). They say such action is needed to ensure that the goal, a system that allows seamless sharing of electronic health records, is realized in a manner that spends taxpayer dollars appropriately.

The senators—Lamar Alexander of Tennessee; Richard Burr of North Carolina; Tom Coburn, MD, of Oklahoma; Mike Enzi of Wyoming; Pat Roberts of Kansas; and John Thune of South Dakota—say they believe that the $35 billion to be spent over the next 10 years to implement the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act will be spent ineffectively because of increased costs and inadequate oversight. The 6 senators also expressed concern about the lack of a clear path toward interoperability, patient privacy, and program sustainability.