Members of the Healthcare Information Technology Standards Panel, a holdover from the Bush administration's health IT promotion efforts, will be spending 2009 working in connection with two key healthcare advisory bodies created by Congress.
After the groups board meeting Monday, HITSP Chairman John Halamka said that its marching orders are to do what needs to be done to assist the HIT Policy Committee and HIT Standards Committee, both products of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Both committees report to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology at HHS. Both are tasked with helping develop HIT data standards and implementation specifications and certification criteria for electronic health-record systems that will be subsidized by payment under the stimulus law. To be eligible for the subsidies, hospitals and office-based physicians must use certified EHR systems in a meaningful way.
"What is going to be the work for the rest of the year?" Halamka asked rhetorically. "I think it's going to be defining meaningful use and making sure the HIT policy and standards committees are going to do what they need to do to make sure they meet the eight points of the stimulus law.