Today, Donald Trump took the oath of office as the 45th President of the United States — then traveled the 15 blocks from the Capitol to his new office at the White House. The tradition of the Presidential Inaugural Parade dates back to George Washington.
Pomp and circumstance aside, it's a leisurely stroll through the Trumps' new neighborhood and past many of the government offices that will play a critical role in changing — and possibly fixing — healthcare.
A lot of focus, in the early months of Trump's presidency, will remain on the Affordable Care Act. But truly fixing a broken healthcare system will require Congress and the Trump Administration to look far beyond the ACA.
Much of the work will have to do with the health IT products that share the office with physicians every day, helping them reach efficiency in some areas while hurting their productivity in others. There are still plenty of levers for the government to pull to improve healthcare interoperability.
For years, a patchwork of state privacy laws and limited access to government data has acted as a barrier to information exchange. And that's not counting the National Institutes of Health or the Food and Drug Administration, whose research and policies will affect innovation and cost.
President Trump won't have time on Friday to stop by all of the offices that will impact healthcare in the coming four years. So why not utilize his preferred method of mass communication — Twitter — to send messages to his new colleagues?
Here's what @realDonaldTrump should advise about healthcare policy, in 140 characters or fewer:
Congress — @congressdotgov: Keep WINNING! Continue 2 allow private sector to lead health IT innovation to improve usability, interoperability, value!
National Governors Association — @NatlGovsAssoc: Align state, federal privacy laws! Causes big league confusion 4 docs sharing patient info. Barrier to #interoperability!
Food and Drug Administration — @US_FDA: End outdated regulatory frameworks. They're losers! Create tools to regulate in an environment where all technologies interact!
Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) — @ONC_HealthIT: Congrats on HUGE adoption of #EHRs! Time 2 reassess state of #HIT industry.
Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) — @HHS_Health: Create space for INNOVATION. We're gonna innovate so much, you won't believe it!
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) — @CMSGov: Incentivize outcomes over means. Give docs access to data and insights from CMS claims data. Make payment reform great again!
Greg Carey is technology policy and standards manager at athenahealth.