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US Gov’t Report Says Health IT Infrastructure Impedes Competition

December 05, 2018 / Fred Donovan

Health IT infrastructure often facilitates anticompetitive practices in healthcare, such as blocking clinical information exchange between providers or not supporting regional information sharing, according to a report released this week by HHS and the Departments of Treasury and Labor. At the root of this anticompetitive impact is the lack of interoperability among health IT systems, which hampers patient mobility and stymies competition among providers, judged the report, Reforming America’s Healthcare System Through Choice and Competition. The report identified a number of barriers to health IT interoperability. First, medical complexity means that a diagnosis, treatment, or procedure in medical records can be recorded in many ways. This lack of standardization makes it difficult to share information among providers and other healthcare organizations.