CCHIT names new commissioners, set to launch HIE program

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The Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology (CCHIT) has named eight new commissioners and re-appointed five existing commissioners to serve two-year terms on its 21-member board beginning in October.

The commission solicited applications from senior executives representing a range of stakeholders across the public and private sectors of healthcare and health IT. It is made up of at least two representatives each from the provider, payor and vendor stakeholder groups, as well as representatives from other stakeholder groups.

The new commissioners are:

  • Steve Arnold, MD, president and chief medical officer (CMO) of CareData and CEO of Healthcare Global Advisors;
  • Richard Benoit, senior program manager of Intel and director of ecosystem development for Dossia;
  • Sarah T. Corley, MD, CMO of NextGen Healthcare Information Systems;
  • John F. Derr, senior vice president and chief information officer (CIO) of Golden Living;
  • Michael L. Kappel, senior vice-president of government and industry relations of McKesson Technology Solutions;
  • Joy G. Keeler, principal in health IT for The MITRE Corporation;
  • Jennifer Laughlin, vice president and CIO of UW Health Partners-Watertown Regional Medical Center; and
  • David Merritt, project director of the Center for Health Transformation, sponsored by the Gingrich Group.

The commissioners re-appointed to a second two-year term are:

  • Christopher MacManus, healthcare IT practice leader at Tatum;
  • James Morrow, MD, vice president and CIO of North Fulton Family Medicine;
  • Don Rucker, MD, vice president and CMO at Siemens Medical Solutions;
  • Michael Ubl, director of IT Strategy and eHealth at Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota; and
  • Andrew Wiesenthal, MD, associate executive director of clinical information support at the Permanente Federation.

In other news, CCHIT will launch its certification program for health information exchanges (HIE) on Oct. 1. The commission will begin accepting applications on that date for the first phase of inspection for the 2009 HIE certification. Information about the new HIE program, including the criteria and test scripts, the HIE Certification Handbook and the applicant agreement, will be available on Sept. 29 at

“With health information exchange still being in an early developmental stage, we are offering a modular approach to certification that will accommodate the wide variety of organizations involved,” said Mark Leavitt, MD, PhD, commission chair.  “First, all organizations will be required to satisfy uniform security criteria.  Then, in the months to come, we will be rolling out inspections for various interoperability transactions, allowing HIEs to select which ones they choose to be certified for.”

Applications will also reopen for the 2008 certification of ambulatory EHRs on Oct. 1 and will be accepted on a continuous basis through March 31, 2009.

A 30-day public comment period on the first draft of CCHIT Certified 09 criteria for ambulatory, child health, cardiovascular medicine, behavioral health, inpatient and emergency department EHRs, and personal health records, will be open Sept. 29 through Oct. 28. The draft criteria will be published at