Sug­ges­tions, please

Gov­er­nance work group wants in­put on net­work

Modern Healthcare - - The Week In Healthcare - Joseph Conn

Afed­eral pol­icy work group is seek­ing pub­lic com­ment on its set of draft rec­om­men­da­tions on how to best gov­ern a pro­posed na­tion­wide net­work for health in­for­ma­tion ex­change. If health­care lead­ers want to con­trib­ute to that ef­fort, they’ll have to act fast: The dead­line is Nov. 3.

A request for com­ment is posted at the Fed­eral Ad­vi­sory Com­mit­tee Blog on the web­site of HHS’ Of­fice of the Na­tional Co­or­di­na­tor for Health In­for­ma­tion Technology. The request has been made by John Lump­kin, chair­man of the gov­er­nance work group of the Health IT Pol­icy Com­mit­tee. The pol­icy com­mit­tee was cre­ated pur­suant to the Amer­i­can Re­cov­ery and Rein­vest­ment Act of 2009 to ad­vise the ONC on IT is­sues. The gov­er­nance work group first met Sept. 3.

A tem­plate that mem­bers of the pub­lic can use in mak­ing their cri­tiques of the gov­er­nance guide­lines is also at the web­site.

Lump­kin said mem­bers hope to turn around the pub­lic com­ments and have “the ba­sics” of their fi­nal set of rec­om­men­da­tions to the Health IT Pol­icy Com­mit­tee by Nov. 19. From there, he said, the rec­om­men­da­tions will be for­warded to the ONC, with a pro­posed rule ex­pected to be re­leased for pub­lic com­ment in three to six months.

A fed­eral pro­posal to de­velop what was then called a na­tional health in­for­ma­tion net­work, a “net­work of net­works,” dates back to 2004. The NHIN went nowhere through­out the sec­ond half of the Bush ad­min­is­tra­tion, at least in part be­cause of provider fund­ing con­straints. Now, how­ever, with Congress of­fer­ing providers $27 bil­lion in elec­tronic health-record sub­sidy money, cre­at­ing an ac­tual net­work has taken on a new ur­gency.

The cur­rent par­a­digm no longer is that of a “net­work of net­works,” in which the bulk of in­for­ma­tion would flow through re­gional ex­changes, Lump­kin said.

The govern­ment has be­gun devel­op­ment of NHIN Di­rect, a technology frame­work for “peer-to-peer” com­mu­ni­ca­tion be­tween providers, ca­pa­ble of by­pass­ing re­gional or state in­for­ma­tion or­ga­ni­za­tions.

He said the work group is ad­dress­ing gov­er­nance be­cause the stim­u­lus law re­quires the com­mit­tee to do so, but also be­cause some states, in the ab­sence of fed­eral guide­lines, are de­vel­op­ing mod­els on their own. Lump­kin said it was “es­sen­tial” to make the gov­er­nance de­ci­sions needed to fos­ter growth and ex­pan­sion of health in­for­ma­tion ex­change.

Lump­kin: Ex­pect a pro­posed rule in three to six months.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.