HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is due to make an announcement this week on her pick for the newly created position of chief privacy officer at the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology.
The position is mandated by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, which was signed into law by President Barack Obama on Feb. 18, 2009.
The role of the chief privacy officer is to advise the ONC, a part of HHS, “on privacy, security and data stewardship of electronic health information and to coordinate with other Federal agencies (and similar privacy officers in such agencies), with State and regional efforts, and with foreign countries with regard to the privacy, security and data stewardship of electronic individually identifiable health information.”
Also on the health IT calendar on Friday was the effective date of the interim final rule on “Health Information Technology: Initial Set of Standards, Implementation Specifications, and Certification Criteria for Electronic Health Record Technology” released by the ONC on Dec. 30, 2009.
The public comment period on the rule will remain open, however, through March 15.