Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush, in unveiling his plan to reform the current healthcare system, said the electronic health record incentive program needs a "reboot," during a speech delivered Tuesday in New Hampshire.
President Barack Obama, through the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act and the Meaningful Use program, had a "golden opportunity" to make medical recordkeeping more efficient, shareable and secure, according to the former Florida governor. Instead, he said, more complexity has been created.
"The simple fact is that the information technology funding through the stimulus was not focused on creating a shared platform from all of us to benefit," Bush said.
In April 2013, six Republican senators called for a reboot of the Meaningful Use program.
Bush's plan also calls for less government oversight and more private sector innovation; it would "eliminate government mandates and penalties for healthcare providers who do not use government-approved electronic health records," and also would push for patient ownership of their medical records.
What's more, under the plan, de-identified Medicare and Medicaid patient data would be released for commercial purposes in its original form. This, according to Bush, would enable entrepreneurs to use the information to improve the quality of care and cut costs.
"Innovation led by the private sector will be the center of everything we do," Bush said.
Bush also said he would "double down on innovation" by supporting work at the National Institutes of Health, and called for a repeal of the medical device tax. The plan suggests that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's regulatory approach would be modernized and that clinical trials would be accelerated by taking advantage of patient data "as it accumulates."
It also calls for a "regulatory spring cleaning" to review federal regulations deemed hurdles to innovation.
"We have smartphone that can video chat with our doctors and caregivers. We have genomic medicine that can personalize treatment of cancer and other diseases," Bush said. "We have to get Washington out of the way, stop its micromanagement so that we can have an explosion of dynamic response to the great challenges that we face to turn them into opportunities, not just for our better health, but for economic progress for all of us."