Holiday weekend update

Happy 4th of July!  Congress returns to Capitol Hill this week. Congress will be in session there for the next two weeks.  According to the calendars for the House and Senate,  the legislative bodies will be busy attending to party convention and reelection campaigns until following Labor Day.  Congress then will return for the remainder of September and then be off until after the election on November 8 (assuming a lame duck session is held).

Health Data Management reports on the status of efforts to make electronic medical records communicate with one another or in one word interoperable.  It’s not encouraging and that’s discouraging because the federal government hurled $34 billion at the electronic medical records industry without first requiring interoperability.  “The lack of interoperability is one of the major reasons why the
promise of electronic health records has not been fulfilled,” said [immediate past] AMA
President Steven J. Stack, MD. “Vendors have been incentivized to meet
the flawed benchmarks under the Meaningful Use program. We need to
replace those benchmarks with ones that focus on better coordinated
care.”

Pharmalot reports that the major pharmaceutical manufacturers, including Pfizer and Gilead, continue to engage in routine product price increases. “To avoid a torrent of public criticism, some makers are raising prices only by modest amounts, but in some cases doing that multiple times a year.”

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