Behind the Curtain of Healthcare's New CommonWell Alliance
Earlier yesterday I traded tweets with Dr. Farzad Mostashari. Dr. Mostashari is the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology for the United States and he was attending a presentation by Acting CMS Administrator Marilyn Tavenner at HIMSS13 in New Orleans. Here was that exchange: First of all – thanks for asking. So what do I think? In a nutshell – not much – and I’m not alone. The indictment by Adrian Gropper, MD over on The Health Care Blog was also pretty forceful (CommonWell Is a Shame and a Missed Opportunity). Here’s his second sentence: “The shame is that another program with opaque governance by the largest incumbents in health IT is being passed off as progress.” Like Dr. Gropper – I’m equally concerned for these reasons: 12-18 months to get to a “proof-of-concept” suggests that no one put any real money into this (past the legal fees to get to Monday's announcement). These are all big companies to be sure, but its such a relatively small (5) subset of the total EHR community – now at 389 by this ONC List. Opaque governance – not just because it’s opaque – but because the liability and risk to everyone else (patients, partners, providers) are complete unknowns. Publicly traded companies – with multi-billion dollar valuations – big Board of Directors – large shareholder interests and quarterly objectives don’t make good candidates for lean, rapid and disruptive technical innovation. The biggest risk of all – is winding up with the XKCD model of standards proliferation.