Policies on security breaches, open source code, and government subsidies of electronic health-record systems have been adopted by the American Medical Association's House of Delegates.
The policies concern physicians' responsibilities in case of computer security breaches and support of electronic health-record systems based on open-source code. Another policy calls for the removal of penalties that are scheduled to affect physicians who are not using electronic prescribing by 2015, and another says that the AMA wants government subsidies for the implementation and maintenance of EHR systems to be adjusted for inflation.
AMA policy now dictates that, in response to a security breach, physicians are to place the interest of patients above those of themselves, their practice or institution. On open-source, delegates approved a resolution calling for the AMA to support law and public policy that makes open source EHR systems that meet certification and "meaningful use" requirements available to physicians at nominal cost.
The Florida delegation had introduced a resolution that would declare federal EHR incentive programs to be "noncompliant with AMA principles" and essentially a pay-for-performance program. After hearing testimony on June 14, a committee drafted a substitute resolution that stated federal programs should be made compliant with AMA principles by removing penalties for nonadoption.
"Resolved, that our AMA support the concept of electronic prescribing, as well as the offering of financial and other incentives for its adoption," read the new resolution that was approved by delegates, "but strongly discourage a funding structure that financially penalizes physicians that have not adopted such technology."