THE CONVENTION DAILY NEWSPAPER
Make the Silent
Auction ‘An Offer
They Can’t Refuse’
Compliance with IG
SCL Health Takes
The Day in Pictures
» continued on page 4
FOR the new national coordinator for health in- formation technology (HIT), it’s an auspicious
time to be in the job. “We have created so much in-
formation in healthcare, it’s just stunning,” said Don-
ald Rucker, MD, “and it’s not stopping.”
Rucker, a physician executive and informaticist
who has also designed and built health technology,
was named head of the Office of the National Coor-
dinator for Health IT (ONC) this spring. His title is
“one of the weirdest in Washington—somewhere be-
tween party planner and regulator,” he joked.
Rucker described ONC’s two areas of focus: usability of systems and interoperability.
The usability issue, he said, aims to resolve some of
the “provider burdens” identified by physicians.
Some of the burdens are related to documentation.
“Providers don’t really like to do coding documenta-
tion—you may not have noticed,” he said. Others are
related to insurance challenges such as prior authori-
zation or quality measures that are perceived as cre-
ating more work. Rucker said the Department of
Health and Human Services wants to reduce bur-
dens and smooth regulations to produce more value.
Some regulations, he said, “were put in for good rea-
son. But it’s time for a rethink.”
Physicians and lawmakers both have been frustrat-
ed by the lack of interoperability between systems,
One goal, Rucker said, is to help empower
patients so that accessing medical information
ONC Head Talks Interoperability,
Boxer, Gingrich Debate Healthcare
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Former Senator Barbara Boxer, left, and former speaker of the House of Representatives Newt Gingrich, offer
views on “repeal or replace,” electoral challenges in 2018, and the opioid epidemic.