Cloud-based physician software and billing services vendor athenahealth Inc. is expressing disappointment and frustration with a policy reversal by the Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Inspector General. The OIG terminated its own 2011 advisory opinion regarding the company's online service that facilitates the exchange of information between healthcare providers and suppliers.
In 2011, athenahealth asked the OIG whether it could apply an in-network/out-of-network model to healthcare transactions at a cost of $1.00 per transaction to "accelerate the rate of adoption of electronic information exchange." However, three years later, OIG has changed its previous conclusion that athenahealth's fee structure "would be unlikely to influence an ordering health professionals referral decisions in a material way."
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