Healthcare Leadership Council Joins Pledge to Support Improved Patient Access to Electronic Health Information

WASHINGTON – The Healthcare Leadership Council, a coalition of chief executives of many of the nation’s leading healthcare companies from all health sectors, said today it strongly supports the efforts of the Department of Health and Human Services to improve the flow of health information to providers and consumers, signing the pledge on core principles regarding data access and interoperability standards announced by HHS Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell.

“These commitments have created a unified ‘to do’ list for the healthcare industry,” said HLC president Mary R. Grealy. “This is an essential step toward achieving health system transformation. True progress is inextricably tied to health data access and mobility.”

The principles to which HLC and other organizations have given their support cover:

  • Consumer Access: To help consumers easily and securely access their electronic health information, direct it to any desired location, learn how their information can be shared and used, and be assured that this information will be effectively and safely used to benefit their health and that of their community.
  • No Information Blocking: To help providers share individuals’ health information for care with other providers and their patients whenever permitted by law, and not block electronic health information (defined as knowingly and unreasonably interfering with information sharing).
  • Standards: Implement federally recognized, national interoperability standards, policies, guidance, and practices for electronic health information, and adopt best practices including those related to privacy and security.

Last week, HLC announced its own set of proposed actions and policy changes to drive health system transformation, including establishing a firm deadline of December 31, 2018 to achieve systemwide data interoperability.   Those recommendations can be found at /app/uploads/2016/02/VIable-Solutions-Final-Report.pdf.

A list of organizations that joined the HHS pledge is available at https://www.healthit.gov/commitment.