It’s no exaggeration to say that our EHR systems’ lack of interoperability is the single strongest barrier to nationwide population health management. That’s exactly what ONC reported to Congress in December 2015. A year later in its December 2016 report ONC acknowledged a few efforts in the right direction, but could point to no definitive progress.

With the new bipartisan Cures Act, HHS aims to exercise more muscle with reluctant EHR vendors by requiring them to meet interoperability standards by the end of 2017. But President Trump’s new “one-in, two-out” rule that requires federal agencies to kill two regulations for every new one has essentially put interoperability progress through the Act on hold because so much rule-making is needed to implement it.

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