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HITECH Act Blocking Smaller IT Firms-HIPAA Violation Exposure and Medical Record REC Centers at the Core the CompTIA Report

Posted Aug 08 2011 4:05am

Maybe this is why the Orange County REC center is at a stand still or partially an area that needs to be reviewed to let small companies in the door?   In short the report states that smaller companies would not be able to pay the fines if exposed to the current HIPAA guidelines and it brings focus on how some of the REC centers are operating.  Do they give the smaller IT companies a chance?  According to the report some of the centers are neutral while other centers may not be.  image

I have covered a few of the videos and public information some of the REC centers have put out here over the last year and it looks like some are really doing a great job while others, as mentioned above have yet to set up a web page with the grants given.  Cal Optima is the second largest health insurer in Orange County and also the holder of the REC grant with their foundation so perhaps with covering all the Medi-Cal issues there’s a time issue here?  We all know it was not supposed to be this way but when the big companies have the ability to potentially cover fines and other administrative issues that smaller companies can’t, well the small and medium companies don’t get in the door.  BD 

While some industry estimates have healthcare IT spending expected to reach $34 billion this year government policies and other related issues are preventing small and midsize IT firms from getting their share of the action, according to a report released by IT trade association CompTIA.

Many small and midsize IT firms are sitting on the sidelines of the nation's health IT transformation due to barriers caused mostly by government policies as they relate to education, security and privacy, and technical assistance, said authors of the CompTIA report, Health IT: The Essential Role of Small IT Solution Providers.

The report contends that "several minor changes to existing policy" would help enable small IT products and services providers to play a bigger role in helping the nations tens of thousands of healthcare providers--especially smaller medical providers --transition to digitized patient records and other health IT enabled processes.

The barriers preventing small IT firms from "helping achieve the healthcare and economic potential" include a lack of resources for retraining IT professionals; not fully integrating IT professionals from smaller IT firms in the programs offered by the nation's 62 Regional Extension Centers, or RECs, that are assisting medical providers in choosing and implementing health IT systems; and new HIPAA data breach provisions under HITECH that place "unfair burdens" on IT professionals, said the report.

As for the nation's 62 RECs--which received a total of $677 million in HITECH Act funding--some RECs take "a vendor and services firm neutral approach" to referring healthcare providers to those companies. However, other RECs do not, said Hyman.


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