Digital health care policy is just like the Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez saga — it can take years for big changes to happen in this space. They have their timelines, we have our timelines. Just like Bennifer, the advent of federal health IT got started in 2003-2004, (though the Institute of Medicine was really looking into this when Ben and Jen were just kids) with President George W. Bush making a big announcement about computerizing medical records in 2004. Five years later, the idea was finally funded by President Obama. Five years after that, in 2014, U.S. House Representatives Diana DeGette and Fred Upton began their bipartisan effort to modernize the health care system, which ultimately led to the passage of the 21st Century Cures Act of 2016 passing — and it only took four more years after that in 2020 to finalize rules to implement modern health data standards. This week, the HHS Office of National Coordinator of Health IT released the third version of those data standards (United States Core Data for Interoperability, or USCDI v.3). That means that the federal agency that oversees electronic health record systems are requiring those systems to make sure they capture data elements — like patient names and prescription medication lists — and that those data are in a format that can be easily shared with those who need them. The third version of standardized data elements includes things like health insurance information — which you would think would have happened a long time ago, but these things take time. If you ask the crazy-happy Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez, sometimes a 19-years-long wait is worth it.
July 22, 2022 | 3 min read
July 22, 2022
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