Feb 11, 2019

Feds want to make it easier to share electronic health records

A doctor looks at patients' electronic medical records. Photo: Dominick Reuter/AFP via Getty Images

New federal proposals are hoping to tear down barriers among hospitals, doctors, insurers, health IT companies and patients that prevent the free, secure exchange of patient records and data.

Why it matters: It's 2019. And yet patients still can't easily obtain all of their medical information, and doctors still can't always receive or share important patient data with other clinicians.

The big picture: The public subsidized the multi-billion-dollar effort for hospitals, doctors and other providers to move from paper documents to electronic health records.

However:

  • Patients routinely complain about how difficult it is to collect their own records.
  • Health IT companies, hospitals and other providers have been found to engage in "information blocking," which includes practices like charging high fees to transfer records or denying the exchange of records between providers to control patient referrals.

What's next: The new proposed rules seek to alleviate these problems.

  • "Information blocking" is more specifically defined, although there are exceptions.
  • If hospitals want to stay in Medicare, for example, they will have to let other necessary doctors know when patients are admitted or discharged.
  • Patients with certain health plans can more easily get their claims data as soon as 2020.

Go deeper: The pitfalls of electronic health records

Go deeper

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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

"Dozens" of Facebook employees staged a "virtual walkout" Monday over the company's decision not to take action against President Trump's provocative messages in the face of nationwide protests against police violence, the New York Times reports.

Why it matters: While Twitter added fact-check labels and hid the president's most inflammatory tweet — "when the looting starts, the shooting starts" — Facebook has said Trump's statements do not violate its policies, and that the platform aims to promote free speech.

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Trump lashes out at governors, urges them to "dominate" protesters

President Trump berated the nation’s governors in a video teleconference call Monday, calling many of them "weak" and demanding tougher crackdowns on the protests that erupted throughout the country following the killing of George Floyd, according to multiple reports.

The big picture: Trump blamed violence on the "the radical left" and told the governors, who were joined by law enforcement and national security officials, that they have to "dominate" protesters and "arrest people" in order to bring an end to the unrest.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Photo Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photos: Noam Galai, Jamie McCarthy, Josep Lago/AFP, Alfredo Estrella/AFP, and Narayan Maharjan/NurPhoto, all via Getty Images

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 12:30 p.m. ET: 6,206,773 — Total deaths: 372,752 — Total recoveries — 2,661,643Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 12:30 p.m. ET: 1,793,780 — Total deaths: 104,3450 — Total recoveries: 444,758 — Total tested: 16,936,891Map.
  3. Public health: Fauci says“My meetings with the president have been dramatically decreased” — Coronavirus looms over George Floyd protests across the country.
  4. Climate: Your guide to comparing climate change and coronavirus.
  5. Economy: A busy week for IPOs despite upheaval from protests and pandemic.
  6. World: Former FDA commissioner says "this is not the time" to cut ties with WHO.