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HIT Leaders Want Flexibility, Transparency from Next HHS Chief

Scott Mace, for HealthLeaders Media, April 14, 2014

"The website itself, that's just project management, so the fact that it didn't go as it should have, it is kind of laid at her feet."

Miller hopes HHS will be more transparent going forward. "You need somebody who understands the complexities of one-sixth of our economy," he says. "There's the old adage that physicians who are honest about their mistakes, even when they make them, get forgiven a lot more often than physicians who aren't. That transparency piece buys you a lot of favor across the industry, so that's what I'd like to see that I didn't think existed at all before."

As for programs such as meaningful use and ICD-10, Miller also believes in staying the course. "We've plowed a lot of money into making this happen," he says. The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences is scheduled to go live on the Epic EHR on May 3 in its hospital and two thirds of its clinics. Although ICD-10 technology will be ready this October, the Congressional ICD-10 delay provides "a little bit of a breather" for physicians currently immersed in their Epic training, Miller says.

Sylvia Mathews Burwell, the current director of the Office of Management and Budget who President Obama nominated last week to take Sebelius' place, impressed one other physician leader.

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