I knew it: ‘The Hill’ blew it

As I write today in FierceEMR, consummate Washington insider publication The Hill made a rather glaring mistake in reporting earlier this week that the $1.2 billion in federal grant funding for health information exchange and regional health IT extension centers can’t be awarded until HHS finalizes its definition of “meaningful use.”

In fact, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology is going ahead with establishing the extension centers. The reporter confused the two health IT parts of the stimulus. Oops.

I grew up in the Washington area. I spent my first year after college in D.C. working for an “insider” publication, starting with a whopping $18,000 salary in the summer of 1992, but I had my very own U.S. Senate press pass. Real special, right? At the time, all it took was $6 and a letter from your boss vouching for your affiliation to get one. The “we work on Capitol Hill so we’re smarter than you” mentality of some colleagues got to me. I hightailed it to Chicago and never looked back.

Sometimes you need to step back from the supposed center of the action to understand what’s really going on. This is one of those times.