The federal government should avoid the temptation to regulate how much EHR vendors charge providers for interoperability, and should instead curtail HITECH incentive payments, according to a Brookings Institution policy analyst.

"The best solution for the government is to do nothing," Brookings Fellow Niam Yaraghi wrote in a blog post examining the issue. "The new pay for performance payment methods in which the medical providers are being paid a fixed amount for treating patients would drive them to become more efficient and increase their profit margin by seeking solutions such as health information exchange to cut costs. Because the market for new EHR products is now saturated, the only revenue source for EHR vendors are charges for data exchange. Currently, they can get away with outlandish charges because they know the incentives from the federal government allow doctors to cover their costs.”

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