Small Business Subcommittee chair presses for answers about health IT-related injury

Rep. Renee Ellmers, R-N.C., says she has been waiting for the Department of Health and Human Services to respond to her questions for five months.

CQ HealthBeat: After Five Months And No Reply From Sebelius On IT-Related Injury, Small Business Panel Complains
The head of the House Small Business Subcommittee on Technology says it's been five months since she asked HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius about federal efforts to protect against injuries from faulty health information technology, and she still has not received a response. In a letter to Sebelius obtained by CQ HealthBeat, the chairwoman, North Carolina Republican Renee Ellmers, complained about the lack of a reply to her June 12, 2012, letter to Sebelius. That letter asked, among other things, what the department is doing to minimize patient safety risks associated with health IT, following an Institute of Medicine report issued a year ago calling for greater public and private oversight of technology. An HHS official forwarded a copy of the letter but had no immediate comment (Reichard, 11/13).

The Hill: Rep. Ellmers Pushes HHS On Safety Of Health Technology
Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-N.C.) is still looking for answers from the Health and Human Services Department about the safety risks associated with electronic health records. … Ellmers is interested in an Institute of Medicine (IOM) report that said health IT could pose safety risks and called for greater federal oversight. "Almost five months ago … I wrote to you to request a copy of your plan to minimize health IT patient safety risks and a number of related documents, or the status of those documents if not yet complete, with the documents to follow," Ellmers wrote Wednesday. "Now, just five weeks before the one year anniversary of IOM's report, we have heard nothing from the Department about the status of any of my requests" (Baker, 11/14).

http://www.kaiserhealthnews.orgThis article was reprinted from with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.


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