[See more Recent Post dated June 17, 2009, for the HITECH Law Blog’s discussion of the June 16, 2009 HIT Policy Committee Meeting on Meaningful Use!]
With a little help from the Office of National Coordinator (ONC) and the ONC HIT Policy Committee, it’s possible that health information technology vendors and the providers who want to adopt or upgrade EHRs in compliance with the HITECH Act could begin some forward motion again soon. According to the Chilmark Research blog, Michael Fitzmaurice, the Senior Science Advisor for Information Technology at AHRQ, stated on June 4 at an mHealth event in Washington DC that “meaningful use” will be further defined on June 16, 2009. This is the date when the ONC HIT Policy Committee meets again.
Generally, unless information I read on the web is from a public government web page, I do not repeat it on this blog unless I can verify it from at least one other independent source. Today, I was able to confirm directly with Mr. Fitzmaurice that David Blumenthal, MD, National Coordinator for HIT, will make public a “first draft” of the definition of “meaningful use” on June 16th when the ONC HIT Policy Committee meets. After releasing this first draft, the ONC will compile public comments as well as input from both the HIT Policy Committee and the HIT Standards Committee and will place a definition of “meaningful use” in a regulation, called an “interim final rule,” to be published in the Federal Register by December 31, 2009.
This is good news. The release of a first draft hopefully will keep the “meaningful use” discussion going forward in, well, a meaningful way. My thanks to Mr. Fitzmaurice and the ONC for being so forthcoming and transparent in their dealings with the public.
For information on how to participate in the ONC HIT Policy Committee meeting on June 16, 2009 from 10 am to 1 pm, click here. The Certification Commission on Health Information Technology (CCHIT) will immediately follow this June 16 web and audio meeting with its own free (registration required) Town Call beginning at 1 p.m. Eastern Time. It will hold a second Town Call at 11:00 am Eastern Time on June 17. For more information about the CCHIT Town Calls and to register, click here.