HITECH: A politically-correct Scam?

Update on HITECH

By Kellus Pruitt DDS

“How bad science can lead to bad science journalism — and bad policy – This is what happens when news organizations don’t catch lousy studies.”

By Stephen Soumerai and Ross Koppel for The Washington Post, June 7, 2017/


Soumerai and Koppel:  “As researchers who focus on health care, we see news coverage of badly designed studies constantly. And we’re concerned that breathless reporting on bad science can result in costly, ineffective and even harmful national policies.”

You mean like HITECH?

Since the HITECH Act was passed in 2009, it has been well-documented that not only were the premises of the law fiction, but the law itself has always favored healthcare stakeholders like Cerner at the expense of patients and their doctors – the healthcare principals.

The grandest blunder in medical history gained traction in 1999 with an Institute of Medicine (IOM) report titled, “To Err is Human,” which promises that EHRs should have already saved 100,000 lives a year … Not even close. Not unlike the dangerous research bias described in Soumerai and Koppel’s article that was posted recently, several researchers have also pointed out that the studies cited in the IOM report did not show that people were dying from medical errors that health information technology could detect or correct.

The questionable IOM report was followed in 2005 by a tainted RAND Corporation report which promised savings of $77 billion annually… Wrong again!




Shortly after the report was published, rumors quickly spread that the data for the study were cherry-picked by those with software to sell. By 2011, the passage of time revealed that RAND had clearly made a vendor-friendly mistake, forcing RAND to disown their study – but not before its optimistic conclusion was instrumental in the successful passage of the HITECH Act in 2009 (two years after Minnesota lawmakers had already passed the doomed EHR mandate based on the same tainted RAND results).

Political Fiat

Then presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was only one of many lawmakers to quote the RAND study. Almost everyone the nation was suckered in. Ultimately, it was revealed that the study’s vendor-friendly conclusion was largely financed by software giant Cerner, who continues to profit from years of misinformation.

(See: “In 2nd Look, Few Savings From Digital Records,” by Reed Abelson and Julie Creswell, New York Times, Jan. 10, 2013).


In fact, it was announced last Monday that Cerner, which is responsible for the most dishonest research in the history of health information technology, has been awarded the Department of Veterans Affairs contract for the VA’s next-generation electronic health records system.


Dishonesty wins.


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