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HIMSS still raising that neutrality question

And although the fuss about CCHIT’s corporate issues seems to have been more or less settled, there are still some real questions about the inter-relationships between HIMSS, CCHIT and EVRA.

And frankly it doesn’t really help un-muddy the waters when HIMSS comes out with a guide for providers on how to spend all that lovely money that the Feds just tossed your way as though they’re a neutral body.

They call it the HIMSS Online Buyer's Guide. It’s actually a guide to companies that are exhibiting at HIMSS; or for a mere $395 a year you too can buy an ad in it. Now I know it’s a service from a company that runs conferences, publications and consulting. And given that’s something I do too in a much smaller way I have no problem with them doing that.

But given the influence HIMSS peddles on behalf of (mostly big) vendors, and the real concerns over the neutrality of CCHIT, perhaps they could change their terminology to make it a little more transparent about what this “Buyer’s Guide” actually is—a list of advertisers and vendors, not a neutral publication from a organization that only has providers & buyers at heart.

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5 replies »

  1. Holy mackarel!
    Matthew Holt is chiding HIMSS for taking money from vendors and being influenced by them? Sure HIMSS is a bigger operation but I have not seen them go as far into hyping complete vapor than the Health 2.0 gang. At least HIMSS represents companies and products that someone is actually paying money for! At least they are a membership group representing real-world HIT professionals rather than some consulting shop.
    Hey pot, this is the kettle calling!

  2. Thanks, Matthew, for bringing up this issue of truth in advertising and transparency of interests. I agree with Glen Marshall’s point that a vendor-independent certifying body is much needed, and that government sponsorship is required to at least establish the entity for the next 4-6 years. I have no problems with HIMSS promoting its members or advertisers’ products, but I’m concerned that there has been a concerted effort to narrow the aperture of innovation in health IT through intense lobbying efforts. Let’s hope that the purchasing public is able to overcome that, and demand innovation in the health IT market.
    With kind regards, DCK

  3. Glen. I agree and I think we’ll get that. What concerns me is HIMSS pretending that its new guide is on behalf of buyers when it’s a vendor-sponsored document.

  4. This all goes back to the question of industry regulation being government- or industry-funded. When necessary government regulation is under-funded, as has been the case for the health and banks, we get food-borne illness, fraud, and financial chaos.
    A vendor-independent CCHIT needs government sponsorship rather than a vendor-funded business model.

  5. Are’nt we all doing the same thing? While pointing finger at others?
    It is sad. When Enron happened, we thought people have learned the lesson and the ethics and integrity would improve…quite contrary we have more of that.
    I call it creative communication. In the root to these lies the human psychology. Changing that would need a organic, persistent, and carrot/stick strategy….it should start from homes and schools and should be continuously enforced.
    HIMMs is doing what everyone does…through billions of dollars of ads.
    rgds
    ravi
    http://www.biproinc.com

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