Bradley Merrill Thompson, a Member of the Firm in the Health Care and Life Sciences practice, in the firm’s Washington, DC, office, was quoted in Bloomberg BNA Health Care Daily Report, in “Health Tech Oversight Up in the Air in Wake of New HHS Position,” by James Swann. (Read the full version – subscription required.)

Following is an excerpt:

Fleming's experience as a physician gives him intimate knowledge of how health IT can be used to improve care, and he seems to be a strong advocate for technology, Bradley Merrill Thompson, a Washington-based health-care attorney with Epstein Becker & Green PC, told Bloomberg BNA March 23.

However, Thompson--a Bloomberg BNA advisory board member--said the appointment increases uncertainty over the ONC's future.

“The agency began with a clear mission connected to a large investment by the federal government, but at this point, they seem to be trying to figure out their future,” Thompson said.

Health care payers and providers are also opposed to the ONC getting involved in patient safety issues, Thompson said. An October 2016 final rule gave the ONC the authority to directly review EHRs if there are patient safety concerns.

The CMS “would be a logical agency to oversee standards as they relate to EHRs, because as the government's primary payer for health care, CMS has an enormous stake in EHRs being implemented safely and with interoperability,” Thompson said.

While the choice of Fleming indicates strong support for health information technology, Thompson said he's not sure it translates into support for the ongoing mission of the ONC.

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