Another Day, Another “Lobbying War”

The Post reports of the lobbying war surrounding electronic health care records.

In letters, testimony, meetings with lawmakers and media teleconferences, industry lobbyists have argued that some of the provisions Congress is considering would impede health research, might prevent pharmacists from sending out refill reminders, could restrict doctors from finding out about a patient’s risk of dangerous drug interactions, and might force hospitals to spend billions of dollars to retrofit computer systems and still not be in full compliance.

Arguably, far more than $20 billion is at stake. For instance, hospital officials said that a House provision requiring providers to account for routine disclosures of patient data could cost billions of dollars industry-wide. The Senate version would require that the Health and Human Services secretary take administrative costs and burdens into account in drafting a rule on that issue.

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