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ONC moves control of health info network to public-private group


By Andis Robeznieks
Posted: October 11, 2012 - 2:00 pm ET
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Following last month's announcement that "now is not the time" for formal regulation of a proposed network of health information exchanges, HHS' Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology said it is transitioning control of that network—known as the Nationwide Health Information Network—to a public-private partnership known as the eHealth Exchange.

According to an e-mailed news release, eHealth Exchange "represents ONC's commitment to support health information exchange innovation in the private sector." The partnership's operations will be supported by Healtheway (PDF), a Richmond, Va.-based not-for-profit organization also founded as a public-private partnership.

These operations include conformance and interoperability testing, on-boarding of new participants in eHealth Exchange, and maintenance of operating policies and procedures, the service registry and digital certificates, according to the release.

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In addition, the Chicago-based Certification Commission for Health Information Technology will participate in the effort's compliance testing and will certify that interfaces between exchanges are "consistent across multiple states and systems," according to a CCHIT news release.

More details will be announced at the New York eHealth Collaborative's Digital Health Conference, scheduled for Oct. 15-16 in New York, the release stated.


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