CHA News Article

GAO Recommends HHS Specify Actions to Address Health Information Exchange Challenges

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has released a report on the challenges faced by providers implementing electronic health records (EHR) and the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) strategies to address those challenges. The GAO identified a number of consistent challenges for providers, including insufficient standards for EHR information exchange, variation in state privacy laws, matching patients to their health records, and costs associated with the exchange of health information. The GAO found that although HHS developed and issued a strategy document in August 2013 describing how it expects to advance electronic health information exchange, the strategy lacks specific priorities, milestones and time frames to achieve its goals. The GAO recommends that HHS determine exchange-related milestones with specified time frames to help ensure that the agency’s future actions result in timely improvements and address the key challenges reported by providers and stakeholders. The full report is available at www.gao.gov/assets/670/661846.pdf.

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