Revealed: Hospital EHRs lobbied for stimulus funding (US)

Man Bites Dog! The New York Times just discovered that not only did large EHR companies lobby for the health records mandatories that were part of the 2009 Federal ‘stimulus’ bill–along with ‘Meaningful Use’ subsidies–but also they also won big in hospital sales. This article focuses on Cerner, Allscripts (which bought Eclipsys) and Epic, and the 60% + gain these companies have made in sales since. It touches on the sticking point of non-interoperability, but not at all on the chaos at the practice level where the Big Three (nor the unmentioned GE Centricity) largely do not play. Here is where 600-odd companies, many of them offshored IT outfits, also around 2005 started to peddle various EHRs which were first software, now cloud-based. It took off after 2009 as well, to primary care doctors worried about Federal regulations–or missing out on years of subsidies and MU payouts. The article muddles the practice-based management system Athenahealth, a relative latecomer to EHRs, with the hospital-based EHRs, perhaps to bring in the extraneous point that their CEO is a cousin to former President G.W. Bush, plus Cerner’s political contributions to Republicans, which is always to be expected from the NYT. Pass the cold water. A Digital Shift on Health Data Swells Profits in an Industry  Hat tip to reader, Big Data consultant and NYC Data Science Salon founder Ted Angelus.

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