Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Mark Leavitt Snaps (Back)

"For months, I've been "turning the other cheek" to Dr. David Kibbe because I believe in devoting my energy to solving problems rather than to criticizing other people or worrying about what others think of me. But his repeated use of falsehoods and innuendo to attack CCHIT have found an audience in the national media, reaching a level that can no longer be ignored," says Mark Leavitt, chair of the Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology (CCHIT).

So enough is enough. Leavitt feels he's been on the hot seat and responds in a piece entitled "Certifying Health IT: Let's Set the (Electronic Health) Record Straight". Leavitt spends a paragraph listing CCHIT Commissioners chronologically one-by-one to make the case that CCHIT is not, as suggested by Kibbe, a “vendor-founded, -funded and -driven organization.”

In an unusual combination of third person narrative, followed by direct first person assault, Leavitt asks Kibbe: "In support of this heartfelt concern for transparency, could you arrange for the Washington Post to append to your statements a disclosure of any possible conflicts of interest you might have? Such as financial relationships with companies that market health IT products or services? I have none."

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology is nearing a decision on the certification organization for electronic health records. This organization will be responsible for ensuring that the ARRA stimulus billions will be well spent by U.S. health care organizations on systems that can deliver real meaningful use of electronic health records. CCHIT had been viewed by many as the "heir apparent" for this role.

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