The HIT Policy committee met last Tuesday for the final meeting before interim rules should be released. CMS is still on track for the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Meaningful Use to be disclosed by the year end. CMS will then turn around a final rule after a 60 day public comment period. ONC is required to release interim rules by the end of the year on Certification Criteria and Standards for Meaningful Use. Updates at the meeting confirm they will meet the deadline and also open the rules to a 60 day public comment period. It looks like the HHS Certification Process interim rules will not be released until January of the new year.
We heard from the workgroups and introduced to the new workgroups.
- NHIN – To create a set of recommendations for a policy and technical framework that allows the internet to be used for the secure and standards-based exchange of health information in a way that is both open to all and fosters innovation. The workgroup also hosted a public hearing on current approaches to directories on December 16
- Privacy & Security – To make recommendations to the Health IT Policy Committee on privacy and security policies and practices that will help build public trust in health information technology and electronic health information exchange. Specifically, the workgroup will seek to address complex privacy and security challenges through the development of proposed solutions and approaches that enhance privacy and security while also facilitating the appropriate access, use and exchange of health information to improve health outcomes.
- Strategic Plan – To advise the National Coordinator on strategic policy framework including policy and technology, to serve as foundation to update the Strategic Plan for 2011 through 2015. Make recommendations to ONC on guiding principles, themes, goals, and objectives for the Strategic Plan for 2011 through 2015. And finally, work with the ONC team to draft a Strategic Framework Paper, conduct a Listening Session on the paper, and prepare final document by May 2010 to provide the foundation for the Strategic Plan Update.
For a complete overview of the meeting read HIMSS meeting notes. You can also read the rough draft transcript at Brian Ahier’s Health IT & Healthcare Reform. For more information read ModernHealthcare.com, New Technology, a “push” toward EHR Future by Joseph Conn.
The HIT Standards committee met for the final time this year on Friday. Three of the workgroups gave updates. The meeting materials can be found on the committee web site.
Dixie Baker presented the Privacy & Security Workgroup update. She believed there was a disconnect with the actual meaning of the workgroup’s recommendations and the public’s understanding. A review and clarification of the recommendation plus observations from the Security Hearings Panel (11/19) were included in the presentation. The discussion after the presentation is probably the reason you can’t find anyone reporting on this meeting. Who can’t resist a conversation from the rock stars of the HIT world about ATNA being the audit exchange standard for systems? I know I can’t.
Jamie Ferguson gave the Clinical operations workgroup presentation which he stated was not an update but an outlook for 2010 plans as they have just gotten started. The workgroup is charged with identifying gaps, issues and needs for clinical and administrative vocabulary solutions within the scope of the HIT Standards Committee. Additionally, develop recommendations to ONC for methods, actions, standards and/or programs to mitigate, manage or solve these vocabulary concerns.
Farzad Mostashari from the ONC gave the introductory remarks and presentation for the NHIN workgroup. The workgroup is charge to create a set of recommendations for a policy and technical framework that allows the internet to be used for the secure and standards-based exchange of health information in a way that is both open to all and fosters innovation.