60 health systems sign Epic’s letter against interoperability rule

An HHS rule that would enable patients to have free access to their medical records through third-party digital apps is facing a tough battle. One of the biggest EMR vendor companies, Epic Systems, is leading the opposition to the rule, after its CEO Judy Faulkner penned a letter to HHS Secretary Alex Azar arguing against it.

About 60 other health systems have signed onto Faulkner’s letter, CNBC reported, including Atrius Health, University Health System and more.

While Epic says it is supportive of the concept of the interoperability rule, which is expected to impact 125 million patients overall, it cited concerns about health system burdens and potential dangers to patient privacy and information for its opposition.

The interoperability rule is a key part of CMS Administrator Seema Verma’s plan to increase transparency for patients and lower costs. With more ability to view and access their healthcare data, patients will be able to make better choices and ultimately help bring down healthcare costs, according to CMS.

Epic’s critiques of the rule offer some changes, including a longer timeline to prepare and implement the application programming interfaces (APIs) and more clarity around family members, CNBC noted. Congress has also requested more information from HHS about security concerns under the rule.

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