We crawl back into the new, proposed health information technology federal testing and certification rule today to find a request for comments on price transparency requirements for electronic health-record system vendors.
Voting for price transparency
"During implementation of the temporary certification program," federal rule writers said, "we have received feedback from stakeholders that some EHR technology developers do not provide clear price transparency related to the full cost of a certified complete EHR or certified EHR module."
Rather, they wrote, "some EHR technology developers identify prices for multiple groupings of capabilities even though the groupings do not correlate to the capabilities of the entire certified complete EHR or certified EHR module."
I'm shocked, shocked! EHR vendors are hiding the true cost of ownership of their products? What is a health IT buyer supposed to do?
Well, according to our federal rulemakers at the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, price transparency could be achieved by requiring ONC-approved certification bodies to "ensure that EHR technology developers include clear pricing of the full cost of their certified complete EHR and/or certified EHR module on their websites and in all marketing materials, communications, statements and other assertions" related to certification.
"Put simply," the rulemakers said, "this provision would require EHR technology developers to disclose only the full cost of a certified complete EHR or certified EHR module."
The folks at the ONC want you to tell them whether their proposed price disclosure requirement is feasible.
We have a new reader poll to help them out.
As for me, I think it couldn't hurt, because you can find out in advance how much just about everything else you want to buy is going to cost you—except, of course, a healthcare procedure.
Follow Joseph Conn on Twitter: @MHJConn.
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