A federal committee that includes a major donor to President Obama and whose company stands to profit from the panel’s recommendations holds in its hands the future of health information technology policy.
Judith Faulkner, founder and CEO of Epic Systems Corp., secured a seat on a panel charged with recommending how $19 billion in stimulus money dedicated to health IT be spent, despite opposing a key administration position on the issue.
Faulkner and her company oppose the president’s vision for health IT, but Epic employees are massive Democratic donors. They’ve given nearly $300,000 to Democrats since 2006, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.
That may help explain both Faulkner’s appointment to the 13-member Health Information Technology Policy Committee as a representative for health IT vendors, and the accolades her company regularly enjoys from prominent Democrats.
Obama has long pushed for “interoperable” health information technology, including digitized medical records that can be shared across platforms, regardless of who develops the underlying software.