Health IT standards-setting commission members named

Health and Human Services Secretary Michael Leavitt has named the 16 members of the public-private organization that will set standards for exchanging health care data.

Leavitt selected 16 members from federal and state government and from industry, including health care providers, insurers and IT vendors, to form the American Health Information Community.

The commission, which will be chartered for two years, "will provide input and recommendations to HHS on how to make health records digital and interoperable, and assure that the privacy and security of those records are protected, in a smooth, market-led way," HHS said in a statement.

Leavitt will chair the AHIC. The other 16 members are:

  • Scott Serota, president and chief executive officer, Blue Cross Blue Shield Association

  • Douglas Henley, M.D., executive vice president, American Academy of Family Physicians

  • Lillee Smith Gelinas, R.N., chief nursing officer, industry group VHA Inc.

  • Charles Kahn III, president, Federation of American Hospitals

  • Nancy Davenport-Ennis, CEO, National Patient Advocate Foundation

  • Steven Reinemund, CEO and chairman, PepsiCo

  • Kevin Hutchinson, CEO, SureScripts Inc.

  • Craig Barrett, chairman, Intel Corp.

  • E. Mitchell Roob, secretary, Indiana Family and Social Services Administration

  • Mark McClellan, M.D., administrator, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services

  • Julie Louise Gerberding, M.D., director, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

  • Jonathan Perlin, M.D., under secretary for Health, Veterans Affairs Department

  • William Winkenwerder Jr., M.D., assistant secretary of defense, Defense Department

  • Mark Warshawsky, assistant secretary for Economic Policy, Treasury Department

  • Linda Springer, director, Office of Personnel Management

  • Michelle O'Neill, acting under secretary for Technology, Commerce Department.

  • AHIC also will choose the use cases for which standards will be implemented. Leavitt suggested electronic prescribing and bio-surveillance as early use cases. The devastation wrought by Hurricane Katrina has heightened the need for bio- and pandemic surveillance and interoperability standards to allow sharing of data, for example, from emergency rooms, Leavitt said at the Second Health IT Summit held in conjunction with the 11th National HIPAA Summit in Washington this month.

    Interoperability will jump-start a market and spur adoption of such health IT systems as electronic health records, he said.

    Katrina destroyed the paper medical records of thousands of New Orleans evacuees, many of whom are ill and no longer have medications. "With most medical records gone, if there ever was a case for electronic health records, this is it," Leavitt said.

    The first meeting of the Community will be in Washington Oct. 7.

    Mary Mosquera is a staff writer for Washington Technology's sister publication, Government Computer News.

    About the Authors

    Mary Mosquera is a reporter for Federal Computer Week.

    Sami Lais is a special contributor to Washington Technology.

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