CNBC is reporting that Epic Systems CEO Judy Faulkner has emailed client hospitals around the country urging them to push back on proposed rules from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to make medical data sharing easier.
The HHS has proposed a set of rules that would make it easier for patients to access their medical data at no extra cost and prevent companies from blocking their access. Specifically, the rules will make it easier for applications to access the medical data via application programming interfaces (APIs) and will facilitate sharing data with other hospitals and medical practices a patient may want to use.
Epic is one of the largest medical records companies and is staunchly opposed to the new rules, citing patient privacy concerns. There is likely more to Epic’s opposition, however, as any legislation that would increase data mobility would also make it significantly easier for other tech companies to build competing products. Ones such as Apple and Microsoft are already at least peripherally in the medical space, and the new rules would open up new opportunists for them.
According to CNBC, “former White House Chief Technology Officer Aneesh Chopra expressed frustration over Epic’s move. ‘It is unfortunate to see this much effort placed at stalling the important, bipartisan progress we have made to open up health information — at a minimum to consumers and institutions they trust.’”