Not all love letters for Brailer's health IT plans

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National Coordinator for Health IT David Brailer, MD, PhD, has been facing some tough criticism of late for pieces of his overall health IT agenda. This is kind of a shift in tone, as much of his activity has been seen in a positive light. Ah, how things change.
   
Who wants a piece of him? Well, some patient rights activists are none too pleased with the outcome of awarded contracts to organizations that will jointly seek to smooth out differences between state and federal privacy laws and other roadblock. The concerns were voiced by Health Privacy Projects. "We're really concerned that this is going to lead to weakening the privacy protections," said Emily Stewart, policy analyst, Health Privacy Project in comments about the awards. Privacy concerns, she continued, could put public support for electronic medical records in decline.
   
Next up was Cerner President and COO Neal Patterson who a few weeks ago put forth his doubts regarding what forthcoming grant awards in the area of prototypes of national health IT networks. In comments at a Cerner-sponsored forum, Patterson opined that Brailer's model for information exchanges is not up to snuff and not nearly as effective and promising as some RHIO-type initiatives Cerner has undertaken. Patterson said, "His model is basically Beltway bandits. Brailer has aligned himself with the grant babies."
   
Patterson continued that Brailer could not promote interoperability if he has no plans to develop a national patient identifier, which is something other industry groups support as well.