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April 11, 2013 Headlines 8 Comments

New ONC fee proposal scares health IT sector

ONC releases its budget plan for 2014, which includes a 28 percent increase in funding and a proposal to introduce a new fee structure for EHR vendors.

athenahealth Inc. vs CareCloud Corporation

athenahealth files a patent infringement lawsuit against competitor CareCloud, citing a 13-year-old practice management patent.

Statistical blunders blamed for death rate scare at Leeds heart unit

In England, The Leeds Teaching Hospitals suspend all children’s heart surgeries after skewed EHR data erroneously spikes mortality rates.

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Currently there are "8 comments" on this Article:

  1. This ONC fee (or User Fee) represents a real issue for vendors in that although the 2014 budget request item is small in dollars – 1,000,000.00, what it is actually doing is giving the Secretary of Health and Human Services to unilaterally assess a Vendor fee each year thereafter. They state that they anticipate it increasing after this budget year.

    This is a tax on vendors in addition to all the other taxes they already pay. They will respond negatively as would be expected. If the ONC wants to increase it’s budget (which they do dramatically in this budget) they should have to justify what they will do to create value. They are running out of the funds that created the hubris in spending that Farzad presided over. It’s easy to make friends while doling out billions (6 billion to other agencies, to state HIEs and to SharpC research (much of which went to Boston)).

    As a nation, we need to encourage government efficiency, not extravagance. This new tax is in fact a new tax and we should carefully examine how we could instead require ONC to live within it’s multimillion dollar means as already budgeted. We don’t need new taxes.

    We need ONC to reign in extravagant and wasteful spending on “rah rah programs” and contests and focus on what is critical to enabling interoperability and overall general EHR adoption.

    Time to stop funding the nonsense.

  2. The vendor fee should be earmarked for an assessment of the usability, safety, and efficacy of the systems of HIT devices that mediate the care of all patients.

    Additionally, I opine that the fees should go toward assuring the integrity and transparencey of the data in view of the GIGO error at Leeds in the UK.

  3. I agree with Red. These fees will ultimately be born at some level by the customers. Our current vendor has already stated they would have the medical device tax passed on to us We’re fighting that, which means they’ll find another another way to hide it in their convoluted pricing structures. If the ultimate goal is to reduce the cost of healthcare, forcing providers to spend more on non-value added costs should not be an option.

  4. Would like to see more on this ONC user fee. What does that mean exactly? If a vendor chooses not to pay, then what?

  5. Is this where the Athenaheath bubble pops? Their 190 PE ratio never was sustainable. Many providers we run into cite their high cost and need to keep staff inhouse for charge entry and denial management. I believe they are viewed as very expensive billers that do less than an in-house revenue cycle team would. With athena ppl are fidning they still need to keep their staff in place for follow-up–defeats the whole purpose.

  6. rule #1 – never trust a politician
    rule #2 – if you have to trust a politician, pick the one NOT wearing a bow tie

    Every time I see a pic of Farzad I cant help but think of John Carlson. A must see video of John Stewart dismantling Crossfire host John Carlson.







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