HHS names health IT committee members

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The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has appointed three members to the Health Information Technology (HIT) Policy Committee as well as members of the HIT Standards Committee.

The two new federal advisory committees were established by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The first meeting of the Health IT Policy Committee will be held Monday, May 11, in Washington, D.C.

"The Policy and Standards Committees bring together a wide diversity of key stakeholders to help guide the advancement of health IT as an integral part of health reform," stated David Blumenthal, MD, National Coordinator for Health Information Technology at HHS and chairman of the Policy Committee. "I am confident that these committees will provide valuable insight to help develop important health IT policy in the next few years."

The HIT Policy Committee will make recommendations to Blumenthal on a policy framework for the development and adoption of a nationwide interoperable health information infrastructure, including standards for the secure and private exchange of patient medical information.

The HHS appointees to the Policy Committee are:

  • David Blumenthal, MD, National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, HHS;
  • Michael J. Klag, MD, dean, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health; and
  • Deven C. McGraw, JD, director Health Privacy Project, Center for Democracy & Technology.

The Acting Comptroller General of the United States appointed an additional 13 members, and four members were appointed by the Majority and Minority Leaders of the Senate and the Speaker and Minority Leader of the House of Representatives.

The National eHealth Collaborative (NeHC) said that it is delighted that HHS has chosen six members of the NeHC Board of Directors, including its vice chair, to serve on the new HIT Standards Committee.  Jon Perlin, MD, of the Hospital Corporation of America (appointed Chair of the HIT Standards Committee), Steve Findlay of Consumers Union, Janet Corrigan, MD, of the National Quality Forum, C. Martin Harris, MD, of the Cleveland Clinic, Linda Dillman of Wal-Mart Stores, and Kevin Hutchinson of Prematics (vice chair of the NeHC Board of Directors) will bring a diverse set of important perspectives to their new roles, assisting in the development of technical standards and specifications that will permit the meaningful exchange of health information.

A complete list of the Policy Committee members and information about the May 11th meeting can be found at http://healthit.hhs.gov. The Presidential appointments from relevant federal agencies are expected to be announced prior to the HIT Policy Committee's second meeting in June.

In addition, appointments were made to the HIT Standards Committee, also a federal advisory body, which is charged with making recommendations to the National Coordinator on standards, implementation specifications, and certification criteria for the electronic exchange and use of health information. The first meeting of this committee is scheduled for Friday, May 15.

Members appointed by HHS include:

  • Jonathan Perlin, MD, chair, Healthcare Corporation of America
  • John Halamka, MD, co-chair, Harvard Medical School
  • Dixie Baker, PhD, Science Applications International Corporation
  • Christopher Chute, MD, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine
  • Janet Corrigan, PhD, National Quality Forum
  • Linda Dillman, Wal-Mart Stores
  • C. Martin Harris, MD, Cleveland Clinic Foundation
  • J. Marc Overhage, MD, PhD, Regenstrief Institute
  • Gina Perez, Delaware Health Information Network

Representatives from relevant federal agencies will be named separately. For more information about these committees, meeting dates and preliminary agendas please visit http://healthit.hhs.gov.