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Capitol Health Call
November 12, 2008

IT Bill Criticized

JAMA. 2008;300(18):2110. doi:10.1001/jama.2008.575

A bill introduced in the House that would use Medicare payments as incentives for physicians and hospitals to adopt electronic medical records systems, create an information technology advisory panel, and allow for open-source information technology has drawn opposition from the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS).

In a September 29 letter to Rep Pete Stark (D, Calif), chairman of the House Ways and Means Health Subcommittee and sponsor of the Health-e Information Technology Act of 2008 (HR 6898 [http://thomas.loc.gov]), HIMSS said that while it could support many elements in the bill, it could not agree with a proposal to create a new health care information technology advisory panel and a provision creating an open-source health care information technology system to be made available at little or no cost to all health care providers to handle their electronic medical records. The federal government should not play a role in the development of such open-source technology; such innovation should remain in the private sector, HIMSS leaders wrote.