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HIMSS Foundation, National eHealth Collaborative merge


By Joseph Conn
Posted: December 23, 2013 - 3:00 pm ET
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The HIMSS Foundation, the philanthropic and educational arm of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society, will absorb the National eHealth Collaborative in what both organizations are calling a merger.on, the philanthropic and educational arm of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society, will absorb the National eHealth Collaborative in what both organizations are calling a merger.

The union is effective Dec. 23, according to a news release from HIMSS, the Chicago-based trade group for the health information technology industry.

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By early spring, the NeHC's online educational programs, the NeHC University and Resource Library, will be integrated into the HIMSS website as the NeHC Rescource Center, which will retain the NeHC label for one year. The collaborative's programs on health information exchange will be folded into the HIMSS HIE portfolio, according to the statement.

The NeHC grew out of the American Health Information Community, which HHS created in 2005 in order to leverage IT “to create a more patient and family centered healthcare system improve healthcare for patients,” according to its mission statement. Then-HHS Secretary Michael Leavitt said at the time that the advisory panel would transform it into a public-private partnership that would stand on its own. And it 2008, it was reborn as the National eHealth Collaborative.

In the meantime, much of its advisory responsibility was duplicated by the Health Information Technology Policy Committee created under the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The NeHC has continued, however, to produce educational programs and conferences. For example, the organization worked on a recent forum on the governance of health information exchanges.

During the past five years, the NeHC received about $8 million in federal grant funding, which runs out this month.

Follow Joseph Conn on Twitter: @MHJConn


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