Closed Door Decision Making for ARRA and HITECH

Posted on April 9, 2009 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

I honestly feel that I’m relatively informed on ARRA and the HITECH Act. Just take a look at the number of times I’ve written about the HITECH act to see what I mean. What I don’t understand is the process the government uses to establish the policies that govern the HITECH Act and distribution of ARRA funds.

There are two major decisions which the EHR and healthcare world are waiting to learn about:
What will be defined as a “certified EHR?”
and
How will they measure “meaningful use?”

What scares me about this process is that it really seems like both of these decisions are being made behind closed doors.

Nothing against the probably very smart people behind those closed doors, but we’re living in an interconnected world. Why don’t those smart people open up the dialogue on these two subjects? I believe that Obama has really tried a number of ways to get feedback and participate in discussions about the issues.

I’m not talking about just having a place where someone can submit feedback to a website which someone never looks at. I’m talking about true interaction and discussion about these very important and very challenging issues.

Much like EHR, the technology for this type of discussion is there, but the adoption of this type of technology is lagging far behind.