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Doctors say data fees are blocking health reform
POLITICO

As they move to exchange patient information with hospitals and other health care partners, doctors are suffering sticker shock: The vendors of the health care software want thousands of dollars to unlock the data so they can be shared. It may take an act of Congress to provide relief.

The fees are thwarting the goals of the $30 billion federal push to get doctors and hospitals to digitize health records. The exorbitant prices to transmit and receive data, providers and IT specialists say, can amount to billions a year. And the electronic health record industry is increasingly reliant on this revenue.

The goal of the 2009 program wasn’t just to move doctors from paper chart to computer. It was also to share the information, improve the quality of patient care and ultimately bring down U.S. health care costs.

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