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HIT Leaders Want Flexibility, Transparency from Next HHS Chief

Scott Mace, for HealthLeaders Media, April 14, 2014

"The timelines and the pressures we're putting on the industry need some flexibility and sequencing so that people can be successful," says the CEO of CHIME. He and others are hopeful that Kathleen Sebelius's successor will listen to and understand the needs of the field.


Branzell

Russ Branzell
President and CEO of CHIME

Burdened by requirements to implement initiatives such as ICD-10 and meaningful use while hospitals face declining revenues, the healthcare CIO community holds hope that the next HHS secretary will have more sympathetic ears.

"I think this entire implementation of all these major initiatives has been on such an aggressive and tight timeline and maybe an inappropriate timeline, that the possibility of more collaboration from the field might have made things a little bit more successful," says Russ Branzell, CHIME president and CEO.

"We're trying to move an industry that is so wrought with error right now that everything we do to try to change it is going to result in some pain and discomfort," Branzell says.

"We truly have said the timelines and the pressures we're putting on the industry need some flexibility and sequencing so that people can be successful, and they've suffered from their own aggressive timelines," Branzell says.

Coming on the heels of the surprise Congressional delay of ICD-10 implementation until at least October 2015, as well as the earlier bumpy rollout of Healthcare.gov, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius's unexpected resignation last week is casting fresh doubt on CMS' ability to execute its own hefty agenda in a timely way, Branzell says.

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