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Q&A: Farzad Mostashari on Meaningful Use, Privacy

Margaret Dick Tocknell, for HealthLeaders Media, January 10, 2012

We're working with states to have some shared services to make sure everyone has access and to reduce costs there.

Private health plans, Medicaid and Medicare are putting out new models for paying for care that rewards coordination (so) we're seeing the value proposition start to emerge for information exchange.

On the technology side, we're going to see standards that enable of low cost exchange so we're going to see the value proposition rise. Once the preconditions are there for information exchange, the only thing needed is trust.

I think we're going to see information move in a trickle in local networks where people have relationships and know each other and trust each other for particular purposes. That trickle will become a flow and that flow will become a flood as trust grows.

HLM: A recent PWC consumer survey indicates that patients are willing to share their data to improve care.

Mostashari: How about that! You know why patients say that? Because when they go to the specialist the specialist says: "Tell me why you are here. I didn't get anything on you." People like their doctors. They like their doctors' office. They like their healthcare providers. They respect them and they trust them. One thing that no one would question is that it's a problem that doctors and hospitals don't talk to each other. That is abundantly clear.

When we look at diabetes care and there's a landmark study out of Cleveland that found that if you look at the basic stuff, the right care for someone with diabetes like getting their eyes and blood sugars checked, only 7% of people with paper records had that basic standard of care compared to 51% with electronic records.

But people don't see that. They don't know that and maybe they don't want to know that. That advantage of electronic health records maybe is a little bit lost on people. But the part about sharing information, nobody doubts that their doctors and hospitals could be talking more.

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