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January 16, 2020

Trump Admin Releases 5-Year Health IT Roadmap

Dive Brief:

  • HHS released its five-year roadmap for health IT on Wednesday as part of its ongoing effort to get the government singing from the same sheet of music as it increasingly tries to put health data back in the patient’s hands.
  • The plan will act as a blueprint for federal agencies like the Department of Defense and the Department of Veteran’s Affairs, along with private sector partners, as they work to make it easier for patients to electronically access health data. Much of the plan focuses on proliferating standardized application programming interfaces and stimulating a new “app economy” in healthcare.
  • The plan was developed in tandem with more than two dozen other federal agencies. It will not affect or interact with HHS’ long-awaited rules promoting interoperability in healthcare, which the department plans to release early this year.

Dive Insight:

The federal government has been carrot-and-sticking the private sector toward free sharing of health data for some time now, an effort revved up in 2016 with the passage of the 21st Century Cures Act. Wednesday’s strategic plan for 2020 to 2025 will be used by federal agencies to divvy out resources, coordinate initiatives across departments and work with the private sector as they try to implement the bipartisan law.

Twenty-five federal organizations involved in regulating or using health IT collaborated on the plan, which is meant to help bring electronic health data into the hands of patients in the form of smartphone applications, among other methods.

ONC said it believes the plan will decrease provider burden and stimulate the growth of a new app economy in healthcare.

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