Trump may push downsizing of federal health IT initiatives, experts say

Government-mandated health information technology initiatives such as Meaningful Use may be pared down by the Trump administration, experts predicted last week.    

While Trump's administration has indicated support for health IT, he may choose to move initiatives to the private sector and cut back on government involvement in the programs, Stephanie Zaremba, director of government and regulatory affairs at athenahealth, told Bloomberg BNA.

Zaremba also noted that Rep. Tom Price (R-GA), Trump's pick for secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services and an orthopedic surgeon, may be more open to downsizing federal mandates on health IT due to his experience dealing with them as a provider.

Price's healthcare experience and support of reduced government regulation may also result in funding cuts for the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, Eric Fader, an attorney for Day Pitney LLP, told Bloomberg.

“As a physician, he is expected to particularly favor measures that will reduce the overall regulatory burden on clinicians, but on the other hand he undoubtedly recognizes that the transition to value-based reimbursement is necessary to reduce costs to the healthcare system overall and will require universal use of EHRs,” Fader said.

Fader added that uncertainty surrounding the incoming administration's plans for health IT, as well as the Affordable Care Act, may dissuade some providers from undertaking IT overhaul for the time being.