HIMSS buys Government Health IT

Already a major investor in Healthcare IT News publisher MedTech Publishing Co., HIMSS announced today that it has purchased another key industry magazine, Government Health IT. HIMSS also acquired the Government Health IT Conference and other related educational products from the previous publisher, 1105 Media, of Falls Church, Va.

Financial terms were not disclosed. As of this writing, the Government Health IT site was down.

According to a HIMSS FAQ page, the wants to “expand its reach and further its educational initiatives with the federal health sector.” HIMSS VP for communications Fran Perveiler will manage the print and online magazine in coordination with HIMSS government relations staff in Arlington, Va.

HIMSS says Government Health IT will have editorial independence, and any HIMSS-related content will be identified as coming from the organization. Paul McCloskey will continue as editor of Government Health IT, and he is the only staffer moving to the HIMSS payroll. Reporter Nancy Ferris retired at the end of 2008. HIMSS says additional hires are possible.

This development might open the door for yours truly to freelance for Government Health IT. I’ve talked to Ferris in the past about exactly that, but never really followed through because I had plenty of work already. But with the recent demise of Digital HealthCare & Productivity, I’m definitely looking for new assignments. In this case, a lot will depend on whether the new Government Health IT truly is an independent publication and does not turn into a HIMSS house organ.

Come to think of it, the entire credibility of the publication will depend on that.