Price wants more tech and less government meddling

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Tom Price has been a frequent critic of government regulations.
Tom Price has been a frequent critic of government regulations.

Physicians need to be more patient-facing, not computer-facing, according to U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Tom Price, M.D. Speaking at the Health Datapalooza Conference in Washington, D.C., in April, Price emphasized the need to simplify health information technology regulations.

“The promise of health IT is so great, but we must recognize that a one-size-fits-all, inflexible system for our nation's patients and physicians simply will not work,” he said. 

A former practicing orthopedic surgeon and Republican congressman from Georgia, Price has been a frequent critic of certain government regulations that he says burden physicians and other healthcare professionals, some of which may have forced many of his former colleagues to retire early because they “feel as though they have been turned into data-entry clerks.”

While stressing the Trump administration's commitment to information sharing between providers is an effort to provide evidence-based care, Price emphasized that too much government regulation has made achieving “true interoperability” much more challenging. He also laid out several principles he would like to see guide the administration on health IT and electronic medical records, including the examination of private-sector leadership. 

Price asserted that rather than “stipulating every jot and tittle,” the federal government should provide regulatory guidance to “encourage interoperability from the 60,000-foot level.” He concluded with a plea to attendees to continue pushing technology forward.

“We'll work on reducing burdens from the federal level, but folks on the ground need to help make certain that IT increases usability and interoperability for physicians and patients, and I'm optimistic of the innovations you can come up with to make that happen.”