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OK haters, here’s your chance

Those of you who have been critical of the EHR certification process and other aspects of national health IT policy have a chance to make some of that policy. Here’s a solicitation that just went out from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology:

DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES

Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology

HIT Standards Committee and HIT Policy Committee Nomination Letters

ACTION: Notice on letters of nomination.

SUMMARY: The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Act), Pub. L. 111-5 amends the Public Health Service Act (PHSA) to add new sections 3002 and 3003. The new section 3003 of the PHSA establishes the HIT Standards Committee to make recommendations to the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology on standards, implementation specifications, and certification criteria for the electronic exchange and use of health information for purposes of health information technology adoption. The HIT Standards Committee members are to be appointed by the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services with the National Coordinator taking a leading role. Membership of the HIT Standards Committee should at least reflect the following categories of stakeholders and will include other individuals: providers, ancillary healthcare workers, consumers, purchasers, health plans, technology vendors, researchers, relevant Federal agencies, and individuals with technical expertise on health care quality, privacy and security, and on the electronic exchange and use of health information.

In addition, we also seek nominations to the HIT Policy Committee (established by the new section 3002 of the PHSA), which makes recommendations to the National Coordinator on the implementation of a nationwide health information technology infrastructure. The HIT Policy Committee will consist of at least 20 members. Three of these members will be appointed by the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. Of the three members, one must be a representative of the Department of Health and Human Services and one must be a public health official. If, 45 days after the enactment of the Act, an official authorized under the Act to make appointments to the HIT Policy Committee has failed to make an appointment(s), the Act authorizes the Secretary of HHS to make such appointments. The Department of Health and Human Services is consequently accepting nominations for the HIT Policy Committee.

New section 3008 of the PHSA allows the Secretary to recognize the NeHC (if modified to be consistent with the requirements of section 3002 and 3003 of the Act and other federal laws) as either the HIT Policy Committee or the HIT Standards Committee. At this time, the Department of Health and Human Services is evaluating options regarding the National eHealth Collaborative and its role in relation to those Committees.

For appointments to either the HIT Standards Committee or the HIT Policy Committee, I am announcing the following: Letters of nomination and resumes should be submitted by March 16, 2009 to ensure adequate opportunity for review and consideration of nominees prior to appointment of members.

ADDRESS: Office of the National Coordinator, Department of Health and Human Services, 200 Independence Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20201, Attention: Judith Sparrow, Room 729D. Email address: HIT_FACA_nominations@hhs.gov. Please indicate in your letter or email to which Committee your nomination belongs.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: ONC/HHS, Judith Sparrow, (202) 205-4528.

Authority: The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Pub. L. 111-5), section 13101.

Dated: March 9, 2009

So if you’re feeling left out, go ahead and nominate yourself.

March 10, 2009 I Written By

I'm a freelance healthcare journalist, specializing in health IT, mobile health, healthcare quality, hospital/physician practice management and healthcare finance.

Online support groups

Here’s another story I had published not too long ago: The January cover story in Oncology Net Guide about online support groups for cancer patients and their effect on the practice of oncology.

Those of you who attended either the Health 2.0 Conference in San Francisco or the more academic Medicine 2.0 Congress in Toronto last fall will recognize some of the names in the story. My family might recognize another name, Dr. Michael Nissenblatt, a cousin on my dad’s side. Hey, if you’ve got a good source, you’d might as well use it.

Among the other familiar names in the story are Dr. Geoffrey Rutledge, whose Wellsphere otherwise a useful consumer information site, had not yet been widely exposed as a marketing scam when I wrote the story, and Dr. Stephen T. Colbert, D.F.A., who offers the Best Commentary Ever about Wikipedia:

Stand up and say it with me: The revolution will not be verified!

I Written By

I'm a freelance healthcare journalist, specializing in health IT, mobile health, healthcare quality, hospital/physician practice management and healthcare finance.