CCHIT Town Halls and CCHIT Comments on New Jersey Bill

Posted on June 10, 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.

For those that participated in the CCHIT town hall meetings at HIMSS, it seemed like the writing was on the wall that CCHIT needed to offer some more town hall meetings. There was certainly a lot more to discuss. CCHIT just announced 2 more web “conferences” where the public will have a chance to comment on CCHIT.

The first conference, “New Paths to Certification: Dialog with the Open Source Community,” will take place on June 16 at 1 p.m. EDT and focus on technology. It will address outlying concerns on certification of solutions that are licensed under open source models. Leavitt and Dennis Willson, the commission’s technology director, will be the moderators.

The second conference, “New Paths to Certification,” will take place on June 17 at 11 a.m. EDT and be more geared toward a generalized audience, with dicussion focused on new CCHIT programs.

I think it’s good that they’re having another open source EHR session. I’m just not sure why they would have it before the general session. That means that the open source discussion is going to not be as focused since many people will want to discuss the general issues with CCHIT certification during the open source session.

I’ve made my views on open source and CCHIT certification pretty clear. So, it will be interesting to hear what CCHIT could change to avoid some of the problems I’ve suggested. There’s just not the right motivations for open source EMR to certify. I’ll publish more details on these meetings as they become available.

In a different CCHIT issue, CCHIT has made a comment on the New Jersey bill I’ve written about previously. Here’s the part of their comment that really matters:

First, I do not believe this is an appropriate use of health IT certification. Our goal, stated in almost every presentation I’ve given, and to which I’ve adhered in my leadership of the Commission, has always been to unlock positive incentives for health IT adoption. Bridges to Excellence provides a role model for integrating health IT into outcome-based, pay for performance incentives. Successfully executed, ARRA might too. But the New Jersey bill is nowhere near that. Making software purchases illegal, like dangerous substances? Let’s “just say no” to that idea.

Second, neither I personally, nor CCHIT as an organization, have lobbied, advocated, sponsored, or had anything to do with that bill. We were unaware of it until it started showing up on listserves Friday. The bill has never been mentioned in any of our Trustee, Commission, or staff meetings.

Kudos to Mark Leavitt and CCHIT for making these comments. Underscores my previous feelings that Mike Leavitt and CCHIT really sincere in his desire to help. It’s just that they’re going about it the wrong way.