Possessive Posturing: Mine is Yours and Yours is Yours

Federal electronic medical record data sharing rules have been released, many years after the $38B+ federal taxpayer backdoor subsidy, which promised “interoperability”.

David Wahlberg:

Rick Pollack, CEO of the American Hospital Association, said in a statement Monday that the final ONC rule fails to protect patient information. “The rule lacks the necessary guardrails to protect consumers from actors such as third-party apps that are not required to meet the same stringent privacy and security requirements as hospitals,” he said.

Nick Hatt, a product designer at Madison-based health care data-sharing company Redox and a former Epic employee, said Epic “didn’t really get very much in the final (ONC) rule. The content did not change substantially, so it was kind of a win for the patient-access side.”

The rule requires full exports of patient data, beginning in three years, to patients or hospitals if requested, Hatt said. “You’re being asked to develop something that helps your customers switch from your software to someone else,” he said.

Also, screen shots of electronic medical records will become more public, which Epic didn’t want, Hatt said. “They really don’t want to have screen shots of their software out on the internet, and now essentially it’s illegal for them to put those kinds of clauses in their contracts,” he said.

But the scope of data that must be shared will be limited for two years, and companies such as Epic will be able to warn patients about the dangers of sharing data with third-party apps — changes that were in Epic’s favor, Hatt said.

The rules apply to scenarios such as patients wanting to share clinical data and check lab results with Apple’s Health app, Hatt said.

Epic has said the proposed ONC rule could threaten patient privacy and intellectual property, and increase health care costs. CEO Judy Faulkner urged customers to support a letter in opposition to the rule. More than 60 health system CEOs, including those at UW Health, UnityPoint Health-Meriter and Gundersen Health System, signed the letter sent in February to HHS Secretary Alex Azar.


1. Paying – Repeatedly – for Epic’s Walled Garden

2. Airdrop trumps $40B Taxpayer Medical Record Subsidies.

3. Madison’s Property Tax Base Growth; $38B+ Federal Taxpayer EMR Subsidy.

4. $37,920,077,070 in Taxpayer Electronic Medical Record Subsidies: 2009 – January 2018

5. Epic Electronic Medical Record Implementation: $100,000,000 for Stanford Hospital in 2005.

6. Epic Systems Clearing Storm Landscape Images.

7. A failed 2007 attempt to use Wisconsin taxpayer funds for electronic medical record subsidies.

7. More notes and links on Epic Systems and its founder: Judy Faulkner

8. Federal electronic medical record data sharing rules: 474 page pdf.