National Health IT Week: Sept 10-14, 2012

National Health IT Week

September 10-14, 2012 Excerpted from on Sept 8, 2012

The Seventh Annual National Health IT Week External Links Disclaimer is being held September 10-14, 2012. Health IT Week brings together the entire health IT community under one umbrella to raise awareness about the power of health IT to improve the quality, safety, and cost effectiveness of health care.

The events of the week provide a key opportunity for key stakeholders-vendors, provider organizations, payers, pharmaceutical/biotech companies, government agencies, industry and professional associations, research foundations, and consumer groups- to work together to highlight critical issues and advance a shared vision of improving the nation's health and health care through health IT. During Health IT Week, ONC has developed a specific theme upon which to build each day's events. We hope you are able to join us for as many as your schedule allows.

Health IT Events and Initiatives

  • Monday: Consumer eHealth/Blue Button
    2012 Consumer Health IT Summit: Expanding Access to Health Information
    Monday, September 10
    10:00am – 1:00pm ET (NOTE: Breakout sessions will occur from 1:00 – 3:30PM for attendees who are participating in person)

    Hubert H. Humphrey Building
    200 Independence Avenue S.W.
    Washington, D.C., 20201

    The 2012 Consumer Health IT Summit External Links Disclaimer will bring together federal leaders including: Todd Park, U.S. Chief Technology Officer and Farzad Mostashari, National Coordinator, Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, and inspiring leaders from the private and non-profit sectors. ONC's Pledge Program has grown more than ten-fold since last year-the 2012 Consumer Health IT Summit is a chance to learn from and share your experiences with others who are leading the charge to empower consumers to be better partners in their health.

    View the latest agenda [PDF - 104 KB] External Links Disclaimer

    Event will be Webcast Live at

  • Health IT Blog Carnival

    The Health IT Blog Carnival External Links Disclaimer is an open call for healthcare and IT industry bloggers who would like to comment on the impact health IT will have in 2013.

  • Tuesday: Improving Patient Care Through Meaningful Use
    ONC – HRSA Webinar Demo of the New ONC Privacy and Security Training Game and Program Update for Safety Net Providers|
    Tuesday, Septeber 11
    10:00am – 11:00am ET

    This webinar will feature a new training tool from the Office of National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) Privacy and Security Group. ONC will demo an interactive training game for providers and staff on the "do's and don'ts" of privacy and security issues regarding health IT. This training tool can be used to help fulfill a safety net provider's HIPAA privacy training requirements. In addition, ONC will provide a privacy and security update on recent program changes and how they affect safety net providers.


    • Laura Rosas, JD, MPH, Policy Analyst, ONC
    • William Phelps Policy Analyst, ONC

    Register for the webinar External Links Disclaimer

  • PCPCC Advancing Primary Care through Health IT
    Tuesday, September 11
    2:00pm – 3:30pm ET

    The Patient Centered Primary Care Collaborative (PCPCC) is holding a webinar featuring speakers from CMS, ONC, and NCQA to discuss various aspects of health information technology and the patient-centered medical home. Please join us for a free and informative webinar from 2:00-3:30pm ET on Tuesday, September 11, entitled "Advancing Primary Care through Health Information Technology".


    • Richard Baron, MD, MACP, Group Director, Seamless Care Models, CMS Innovation Center
    • Jacob Reider, MD, Acting Chief Medical Officer, ONC
    • Mat Kendall, Director of Office Provider Adoption Support, ONC
    • Johann Chanin, Director in Product Development, NCQA

    Register for the webinar External Links Disclaimer

  • Wednesday: Privacy and Security
    NeHC Privacy and Security Programs|
    Wednesday, September 12
    11:00am – 12:00pm ET

    As part of Health IT Week External Links Disclaimer, National eHealth Collaborative External Links Disclaimer (NeHC) will offer a series of programs with the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) to highlight their various initiatives, including those related to privacy and security. Joy Pritts, Chief Privacy Officer at ONC will kick off the program and Laura Rosas, Privacy and Security Professional at ONC and Will Phelps, HIT Cyber Security Program Officer with HHS, will provide an interactive demonstration of Cybersecure: Your Medical Practice, a new avatar-based game meant to enhance organizations' understanding of privacy and security.


    • Joy Pritts, Chief Privacy Officer, ONC
    • Laura E. Rosas, JD, MPH, Privacy and Security Professional, Office of the Chief Privacy Officer, ONC
    • Will Phelps, HIT Cyber Security Program Officer, US Department of Health and Human Services

    URL: External Links Disclaimer

    Fee: No charge

  • Thursday: Standards, Interoperability, and Health Information Exchange
    NeHC Standards & Interoperability Framework
    Thursday, September 13
    1:00p – 2:30pm ET

    Continuing with the HIT Week Program Series, National eHealth Collaborative External Links Disclaimer (NeHC) will offer a program with Deputy National Coordinator David Muntz and Director of the Office of Science and Technology, Dr. Doug Fridsma to lead a discussion on the progress of the Standards and Interoperability Framework. Dr. Holly Miller from MedAllies, Inc. and David Tao from Siemens Healthcare will discuss the S&I Framework from the perspective of a provider and a vendor respectively.


    • David Muntz, Principal Deputy National Coordinator, ONC
    • Dr. Doug Fridsma, Director, Office of Standards and Interoperability, ONC
    • Dr. Holly Miller, Chief Medical Officer, MedAllies, Inc.
    • David Tao, Senior Key Expert and Interoperability Champion, Siemens Healthcare

    URL: External Links Disclaimer

    Fee: No charge

  • Friday: Quality and Health IT
    eHC Quality in Health IT Webinar
    Friday, September 14
    11:00am – 12:00pm ET

    The final webinar of the HIT Week Program Series External Links Disclaimer, National eHealth Collaborative  External Links Disclaimer (NeHC) will provide a program featuring Dr. Farzad Mostashari, Dr. Carolyn Clancy, and Dr. Patrick Conway to discuss how ONC, AHRQ, and CMS are collaborating to leverage health IT to improve healthcare quality. Speakers will provide a vision for the quality measurement enterprise of the future as well as the necessary steps to transition to health IT-enabled measurement, reporting and feedback that drives improvement in care and outcomes. They will also identify challenges moving forward in realizing this vision, including the need for continued public-private collaboration to continuously evolve and improve the enterprise.


    • Dr. Farzad Mostashari, National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, ONC
    • Dr. Carolyn Clancy, Director, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)
    • Dr. Patrick Conway, Chief Medical Officer, Director, Office of Clinical Quality Standards and Quality , Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)

    URL: External Links Disclaimer

    Fee: No charge

  • HRSA Leadership Tips During a Health IT Implementation Webinar

    Friday, September 14
    2:00pm – 3:30pm ET

    This webinar focuses on the importance of leadership in successfully steering an organization through a health IT implementation. It features established leaders who have conducted more than 70 health IT implementations in health centers, rural health clinics, and critical access hospitals. The presenters will also focus on how leadership is important in helping staff, clinicians, patients, a safety net providers' board, and partners adjust to and overcome the barriers that typically accompany a health IT implementation and impede success. Lastly, the presenters will provide leadership examples of unique health IT implementation situations such as meeting meaningful use objectives, changing vendors, and implementing health IT in multiple provider sites. Presenters include:

    • Terry Hill, MPA, Executive Director and Joe Wivoda, Chief Information Officer
      National Rural Health Resource Center
    • Greg Wolverton, Chief Information Officer
      White River Rural Health Center, Arkansas
    • Doug Smith, Executive Director
      Greene County Healthcare, North Carolina

    Register for the webinar External Links Disclaimer


  • HIMSS "Health IT is…" Twitter Chat

    Friday, September 14

    On Friday, September 14, @HIMSS External Links Disclaimer and @HealthStandards External Links Disclaimer are moderating at #HITsm Twitter chat on National Health IT Week at 12 noon ET. More details including chat questions will be shared on the HL7 Standards blog External Links Disclaimer closer to the day.


  • Celebrate in Your Hometown

    Find out 10 ways to get involved External Links Disclaimer, whether externally in your community and/or by communicating the value of health IT within your own organization.


    View a full list of National Health IT activities taking places across the U.S. External Links Disclaimer, or to visit the National Health IT Week website External Links Disclaimer to learn more.

    It's also easy for individuals and organizations across the country to participate. Potential partners – including corporate, non-profit and academic institutions – should visit the National Health IT Week website Partners page External Links Disclaimer to learn more about generating awareness of health IT in their communities.



Safeguarding Health Information: Building Assurance through HIPAA Security Purpose

Safeguarding Health Information: Building Assurance through HIPAA Security
Excerpted on Sept 3, 2012 from NIST HIPAA Security Conference


hipaa logoThe National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Office for Civil Rights (OCR) co-hosted the 5th annual conference Safeguarding Health Information: Building Assurance through HIPAA Security on June 6 & 7, 2012 at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, D.C.

The conference explored the current health information technology security landscape and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Security Rule. This event highlighted the present state of health information security, and practical strategies, tips and techniques for implementing the HIPAA Security Rule. The Security Rule set federal standards to protect the confidentiality, integrity and availability of electronic protected health information by requiring HIPAA covered entities and their business associates to implement and maintain administrative, physical and technical safeguards.

The conference offered important keynote addresses and plenary sessions as well as breakout sessions following two learning tracks around specific areas of security management and technical assurance. Presentations covered a variety of current topics including updates on HHS health information privacy and security initiatives, OCR's enforcement of health information privacy and security activities, integrating security safeguards into health IT, safeguards to secure mobile devices, removing sensitive data from the Internet, and more.

A single registration fee granted access to all presentations on-site and through a live Webcast. Video of the event is available at:

A live Twitter Chat was conducted using the hashtag #HIPAASecurity.

Lunch and refreshments were served on-site.


Conference Agenda – Final Agenda dated 5/29/2012

Presentations can be viewed from the NIST Computer Security Division's website known as Computer Security Resource Center (CSRC).

Presentations – 2012 HIPAA
Excerpted on Sept 3, 2012 from (updated: Wed., June 6 @ 10:27am EST.)

NOTE: All presentations posted are in PDF format. Also note, when you click on the link to a presentation, the presentation will open up in a new browser window and this page will still be open in the background.

Wednesday, June 6 (Day 1):

9:00-9:15 Welcome and Logistics
David Holtzman, OCR and Kevin Stine, NIST

9:15-9:30 Leadership Remarks
Matt Scholl, Deputy Chief, Computer Security Division, NIST

9:30-10:15 Risk Management Framework: Privacy Controls
Dr. Ron Ross, NIST

10:30-11:15 Beyond HIPAA: The FTC Privacy Report
Cora Tung Han, FTC

11:15-12:15 Establishing an Access Auditing Program
Cindy Matson, Sanford Health System

1:15-2:00 View From the Cloud: Security Assurance Considerations for a Purchaser
Mac McMillan, HIMSS; and Vince Campitelli, Cloud Security Alliance

2:00-2:45 HHS/ONC Overview
Joy Pritts, Chief Privacy Officer, Office of the National Coordinator

3:00-4:00 (Breakout A-1 Session) Security of Mobile Devices
Lisa Gallagher, HIMSS

3:00-4:00 (Breakout B-1 Session) Security of Health Information When Maximizing Accessibility and Usability
Matt Quinn, NIST, and David Baquis, US Accessibility Board

4:05-4:50 (Breakout A-2 Session) ONC Mobile Device Project
David Shepherd, LMI

4:05-4:50 (Breakout B-2 Session) Integrity Protections
Dan Rode, AHIMA

Thursday, June 7 (Day 2):

9:00-9:30 The Convergence of Privacy and Security in Protecting Health Information
Leon Rodriguez, Director, OCR

9:30-10:30 OCR Audit Program
Linda Sanches, OCR

10:45-11:45 HIPAA Security Rule Toolkit Use Case
Sue Miller, WEDI Security and Privacy Workgroup; Jim Sheldon-Dean, Lewis Creek Systems, LLC and Sherry Wilson, Jopari Solutions

1:00-2:00 Federal Data Breach Response of Health and Consumer Protected Information
David Holtzman, OCR, and Alain Sheer, FTC

2:00-3:00 Data Breach Strikes
Gerard Stegmaier, Wilson, Sonsini, Goodrich & Rosati; and Paul Luehr Stroz Friedberg

3:15-4:00 Security Testing and Assessment Methodologies
Karen Scarfone, Scarfone Cybersecurity; and Richard Metzer, D.Sc. CISSP, Lockheed Martin

4:00-4:45 Meaningful Use Crosswalk to the Security Rule
Adam Greene, Davis Wright Tremaine LLP


ONC and CMS @HIMSS12 Annual Conference & Exhibition — Las Vegas

Federals at HIMSS12 Annual Conference & Exhibition
February 20-24, 2012 · Las Vegas, NV
Accessed and excerpted from on Feb 18, 2012

Representatives from ONC, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), Office for Civil Rights (OCR), and other Federal agencies will be at HIMSS to share information about their health IT initiatives. Below are highlights from the HIMSS schedule of events. For a complete list of participating Federal agencies and their educational sessions, visit the Federal section of the HIMSS12 website.

HIMSS Schedule of Events

Time Location Event
Monday, February 20, 2012
8:45-9:30 a.m. Lando 4204 HIE Symposium – Opening Keynote HIE: The Next Generation and Beyond
Doug Fridsma, Director, Office of Standards and Interoperability
9:30-10:30 a.m. Lando 4204 HIE Symposium – Inter Agency Collaboration: A Federal Update
John Allison, Health Insurance Specialist
Claudia Williams, Director, State HIE Program
10:45-11:45 a.m. Lando 4204 HIE Symposium – State Collaborations: Current Trends and Future Directions
Lee Stevens, Program Manager, State HIE Program
11 a.m.-12 p.m. San Paolo 3504 Physicians’ IT Symposium – Optimizing Your EHR Value Through Patient Engagement
Judy Murphy, RN, Deputy National Coordinator
12:45-1:45 p.m. Lando 4204 HIE Symposium – SLHIE: Moving from Planning to Implementation
Jessica Kahn, Technical Director for Health IT
Claudia Williams, Director, State HIE Program
1-2 p.m. Veronese 2506 Achieving Meaningful Use Symposium – CMS and ONC Present Stage 2 Essential Knowledge
Robert Anthony, Policy Analyst, CMS
Steven Posnack, Director, Federal Policy Division, ONC
1:30-2:30 p.m. Veronese 2406 Performance Measurement and CDS Symposium: Leveraging CDS at the Point of Care to Optimize Quality Measure Outcomes
Jacob Reider, MD, ONC Senior Policy Advisor
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
9:45-10:45 a.m. Casanova 503 Health IT Update from HRSA
Yael Harris, PhD, MHS, Director, Office of Health IT & Quality
9:45-10:45 a.m. Lando 4303 Stage 2 Meaningful Use
Elizabeth Holland, Director, HIT Initiatives Group
Jessica Kahn, Technical Director for Health IT
9:45-10:45 a.m. Galileo 1001 Direct Project Panel Discussion
Moderator: Doug Fridsma, Director, Office of Standards and Interoperability
9:45-10:45 a.m. TBD HIE National Landscape, Monitoring States Momentum
Moderator: Lee Stevens, Program Manager, State HIE Program
11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Casanova 503 CDC and Meaningful Use: Strengthening the Link Between Healthcare Providers and Public Health
Seth Foldy, MD, MPH, FAAFP, Senior Advisor, Public Health Surveillance & Informatics Program Office
11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Lando 4303 ONC Consumer Outreach/Pledge Initiative
Lygeia Ricciardi, Senior Policy Advisor for Consumer e-Health
11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. San Polo 3503 Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs: Meaningful Use Stage 1 Overview
Travis Broome, Policy Analyst
Elizabeth Holland, Director, HIT Initiatives Group
Jessica Kahn, Technical Director for Health IT
Robert Anthony, Policy Analyst
12:15-1:15 p.m. San Polo 3503 Redefining Health Care: Advancing Patient-Centered Care Through Health IT
Carolyn Clancy, MD, Director of AHRQ
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
8:30-9:30 a.m. San Polo 3503 ONC Certification Programs – Update and Next Steps
Doug Fridsma, Director, Office of Standards and Interoperability
Steve Posnack, Director, Federal Policy Division
Carol Bean, Director, Certification Division
9:45-10:45 a.m. San Polo 3503 Stage 2 Meaningful Use: An Introduction
Travis Broome, Policy Analyst, CMS
Elizabeth Holland, Director, HIT Initiatives Group, CMS
Steve Posnack, Director, Federal Policy Division, ONC
Farzad Mostashari, MD, ScM, National Coordinator for Health Information Technology
1-2 p.m. Casanova 503 Update on HIPAA Initiatives
David Sayen, Regional Administrator, CMS
Elizabeth Reed, Health Insurance Specialist, CMS
2:15-3:45 p.m. San Polo 3503 ONC Townhall: Advancing Health IT Into the Future
Farzad Mostashari, MD, ScM, National Coordinator for Health Information Technology
Thursday, February 23, 2012
8:30-9:30 a.m. Palazzo Ballroom Keynote speaker
Farzad Mostashari, MD, ScM, National Coordinator for Health Information Technology
9:45-10:45 a.m. San Polo 3503 Privacy and Security – You Can Do It and Here’s How
Joy Pritts, Chief Privacy Officer, ONC
9:45-10:45 a.m. Venetian Showroom Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs: Stage 2 NPRM Overview
Travis Broome, Policy Analyst, CMS
Elizabeth Holland, Director, HIT Initiatives Group, CMS
Jessica Kahn, Technical Director for Health IT, CMS
Robert Anthony, Policy Analyst, CMS
1-2 p.m. TBD RECs: Accelerating Meaningful Use
Kimberly Lynch, Director of the REC Program
1-2 p.m. Lido 3106 Stage 2: Exchange of Information and Public Health Objectives
Jessica Kahn, Technical Director for Health IT, CMS
Robert Anthony, Policy Analyst, CMS
Steven Posnack, Director, Federal Policy Division, ONC
1-2 p.m. Murano 3306 Consumer E-Technology in Action: Four Implementation Examples from Beacon Communities
Korey Capozza, Utah Beacon
Drew McNicol, Western New York Beacon
Alan Snell, MD, Indiana Beacon
Barbara Sorondo, Maine Beacon
2:15-3:15 p.m. Marco Polo 705 IOM Study-Patient Safety
Jacob Reider, MD, ONC Senior Policy Advisor
2:15-4:15 p.m. San Polo 3503 Stage 2: Clinical Quality Measures
Travis Broome, Policy Analyst, CMS
Steve Posnack, Director, Federal Policy Division, ONC
Friday, February 24, 2012
10:00-11:00 a.m. San Polo 3503 HIPAA Privacy and Security Regulations
Leon Rodriguez, Director of OCR
11:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m. Venetian Showroom Stage 2: Payment Adjustments and Changes from Stage 1
Travis Broome, Policy Analyst, CMS
Robert Anthony, Policy Analyst, CMS
Theater Booth Sessions – Exhibit Hall, Booths 14624/14824

CMS and ONC will be presenting on special topics in health IT and meaningful use at the theater booth in the HIMSS exhibit hall.

Time Presentation Topic
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
1:30-2:15 p.m. Workforce: The Use of Immersive Learning Environments in Online HIT Technology
3:00-3:30 p.m. Medicaid Patient Volume
4:00-5:45 p.m. Beacon Communities: Bringing HITECH to Life – Beacon Project Highlights – IT-Enabled Care Coordination, HIT Infrastructure to Support Pioneer ACOs, and Mobile Technology in Support of Better Diabetes Management
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
9:45-10:30 a.m. Query Health: Demonstrating How to Send Questions to the Data
11:00-11:30 a.m. Overview and Timeline for Incentives and Payment Adjustments
12:00-12:45 p.m. NwHN Exchange Opportunities and the Path Forward
2:45-3:30 p.m. AHRQ: Model Children’s EHR Format
4:00-4:30 p.m. FAQs on Stage 1 Meaningful Use
5:00-5:45 p.m. The popHealth Challenge Demonstration: Patient Engagement Reminders for popHealth Measures
Thursday, February 23, 2012
10:00-10:30 a.m. How States Are Auditing the Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs
11:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Overview of Stage 2 Meaningful Use
3:00-3:45 p.m. Privacy & Security: Privacy Protection for Substance Abuse Treatment Information
4:00-4:45 p.m. Workforce: Using the ONC-HIT Teaching Materials
ONC “Talk to the Expert” Sessions – Exhibit Booth #14824

ONC will be hosting “Talk to the Expert” sessions at its exhibit booth. Stop by to learn about:

  • ONC resources
  • Certification and Standards/Interoperability
  • ONC’s Regional Extension Centers, Beacon, and Workforce programs.
Engage with ONC during the Conference Online

During HIMSS, ONC will be engaging people online through its social media properties by:

  • Hosting discussions on LinkedIn
  • Tweeting live from the event
  • Loading all of their handouts from the conference on Scribd

If you are not already a member of our LinkedIn group, or following us on Twitter (@ONC_HealthIT), sign up today to join the discussion!

Don’t forget to check out Scribd to download handouts from HIMSS!

For More Information

Blumenthal Blogs on HIT Taskforce Guidance on Federal Health IT

HIT Taskforce Guidance on Health IT
Friday, January 7th, 2011 | Posted by: Dr. David Blumenthal, National Coordinator for Health IT on ONC’s Health IT Buzz blog and reposted here by e-Healthcare Marketing.

In September 2010, Vivek Kundra, the Federal Chief Information Officer, and I issued guidance articulating five key health IT policy and technology principles for Federal health IT projects. The goal of these principles is to encourage better strategic alignment of health IT investments by guiding modernization strategies for existing systems, as well as new investment decisions. Agencies were asked to demonstrate how they plan to incorporate the following policy and technology principles into future health IT investments and to provide specific examples from their fiscal year (FY) 2012 budget submissions:

  • Improving health and health care: Agencies should design their health IT systems to support clinical decision-making and to measurably improve long term outcomes. For FY 2012, agencies will be asked to demonstrate their support for the universal attainment of Meaningful Use either by, if eligible, becoming Meaningful Users themselves or by assisting and encouraging others that are eligible, to become Meaningful Users.
  • Promoting open government: Agencies should share information with their clients/patients, when possible and practicable. An FY 2012 priority is providing clients/patients a secure, timely, electronic copy of their own information in a format they can use and reuse.
  • Securely sharing health information between providers for treatment purposes to enable better care: Agencies should ensure Federal HIT systems are interoperable.  In FY 2012, agencies should use standards and specifications adopted under the HITECH Act in communicating between applications and organizations.
  • Being a trusted steward of taxpayer dollars: Agencies should incorporate interoperable voluntary consensus standards and terminologies where available, and contribute to their ongoing development, as their missions provide for and their resources permit. To this end, FY 2012 investments should use and re-use common, interoperable voluntary consensus standards and terminology, as well as employ modular, flexible solutions to ensure health IT systems are built for re-use and evolution.
  • Protecting privacy and security: Agencies should align their health IT investments with the Fair Information Practice Principles and demonstrate this alignment in FY 2012.

Following submission, agency plans underwent a rigorous peer review process, and representatives from HHS, Department of Agriculture, Department of Commerce, Department of Defense, Department of Veterans Affairs, Social Security Administration, and Office of Personnel Management took an active role in evaluating the investments of the various Federal counterparts.

The development of principles and the use of peer review to review Federal health IT expenditures constitute a novel basis for coordinating these expenditures and providing the best possible advice to sister agencies.  In the future, we hope that this process will result in valuable learning for managers of health IT in the Federal Government, and lead to better value for patients and taxpayers.

To comment directly on this post, please go to ONC’s Health IT Buzz blog.

Pritts Recaps PHR Roundtable with Focus on Privacy and Security

Personal Health Records: A Focus on Privacy and Security
Wednesday, December 29th, 2010 | Posted by: Joy Pritts, HHS Chief Privacy Officer, on ONC’s Health IT Buzz blog and reposted here by e-Healthcare Marketing.

Understanding the Evolving Landscape

Personal health records (PHRs) have the potential to give individuals more control over their health information — collecting, using, and sharing it as they see fit. On December 3, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), held a PHR Roundtable to gain a better understanding of PHRs as well as other emerging technologies, and the dynamic and evolving market in which they exist, with a focus on privacy and security. The Roundtable will help inform a congressionally mandated study and a report to Congress on entities not covered by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). ONC expects to deliver the report to Congress in 2011. 

Dr. David Blumenthal, the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, introduced the Roundtable by noting that PHRs are likely to grow in importance as more health care providers meaningfully use electronic health records (EHRs). A major objective of incentives encouraging the meaningful use of EHRs is to engage patients and their families in their health care. PHRs and related technologies can further this objective.

Usefulness and Trustworthiness of PHRs 

At the PHR Roundtable, four panels of experts and industry representatives explored the growth of PHRs, focusing on the nature and adequacy of privacy and security protections. A key message from the Roundtable was that PHRs grow in value when people find them useful and trustworthy. Their usefulness grows as they are able to readily pull information from EHRs and other sources of clinical information, as well as from monitoring devices and mobile applications. The usefulness increases even more as that information can be organized to help people with their particular health care concerns and can inform clinical decision making. 

The Roundtable confirmed that people care about the trustworthiness of PHRs, which includes considerations of privacy, confidentiality, and security. However, often individuals do not have the ability or information to understand or evaluate the trustworthiness of a particular PHR and related service providers. As PHRs merge health information from health care providers with information from other sources and give individuals choices about how to use or disclose that information, the privacy and security issues associated with PHRs increases.

Privacy and Security Protection

During the PHR Roundtable, representatives of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), HHS Office for Civil Rights, and California Office of Privacy Protection explained how they are active in oversight of PHRs. They provided attendees with an overview of the primary ways that that the privacy and security of health information in PHRs is protected under current federal law:

  • HIPAA: PHRs offered by or on behalf of most health plans and health care providers (“HIPAA covered-entities”) are protected by the requirements of the HIPAA Privacy and Security Rules. These rules restrict the way that health plans and health care providers can use and disclose identifiable health information in a PHR. They also require covered entities to have administrative, physical, and technical safeguards in place to ensure that information in PHRs remains secure from unauthorized access and use.   
  • Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act: PHRs that are not offered by or on behalf of a HIPAA-covered entity, including those that are employer sponsored or offered by technology companies or other organizations directly to consumers are subject to Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act, which prohibits unfair or deceptive practices. This means that the FTC can hold PHR companies to the statements that they make about privacy and security in their contracts and publicly posted policies (such as privacy notices). The FTC has also used its authority to find that inadequate security practices are unfair to consumers, who expect their information will be adequately protected. The FTC has recently released a staff report, “Protecting Consumer Privacy in an Era of Rapid Change,” which recommends a broad framework for protecting health information in light of new practices and business models that can help inform the discussion of health information privacy and security applicable to non-covered entity PHRs. 
  • HIPAA and the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act require that individuals are notified of a security breach that results in the release of their health information, including information stored in PHRs regardless of the type of organization by which they are offered. 

A second subpanel of legal experts looked ahead to different approaches to legal or private sector oversight and requirements. At the end of the day, however, it was clear that determining which approach best applies to this dynamic industry is subject to continuing debate and refinement.   

Visit the ONC website to view the archived webcast of the PHR Roundtable. Although the comment period associated with the PHR Roundtable closed December 10, we invite you to continue the discussion on PHRs by submitting comments below.

For comments, please go directly to ONC’s Health IT Buzz blog.

For an account of the PHR Roundtable written during the December 3, 2010 session, see post on e-Healthcare Marketing.

PHR Rountable Archives: Webcast and Meeting Materials

Blumenthal Reviews ONC’s 2010 Accomplishments on ONC Blog

2010 ONC Update Meeting: Advancing the Dialogue on Health IT
Monday, December 27th, 2010 | Posted by: Dr. David Blumenthal on ONC’s Health IT Buzz blog and republished here by e-Healthcare Marketing.

Thank you to everyone who participated in the 2010 ONC Update on December 14-15, 2010 where we had the opportunity to discuss ONC’s strategies and programs, hear about your experiences in the field, assess progress to date, and get caught up on HITECH’s implementation. Video-recordings of the webcast are now available through the ONC website at

The 2010 ONC Update was held in conjunction with 2010 ONC Grantee Meeting which brought together for the first time the awardees of all of the ONC programs , including the Beacon Communities Program, Regional Extension Center Program, SHARP Program, State Health Information Exchange Program, and the many Workforce Development Programs.

This year, significant strides were made in health information technology. And for us, information technology has always been a means to an end, the end of improving health, improving the health system, making the lives of our fellow Americans better, making our nation’s health professionals and institutions able to live up to their aspirations, empowering Americans to have and take control of their own health and lives. These are the reasons why the Congress and the President enacted the HITECH Act and the reason that the Office of the National Coordinator exists today.

But, of course, there are many organizations and groups that have those high aspirations. Our unique contribution comes from a core insight that good intentions have to be powered by strong capabilities. And science and technology have created for us an enormously powerful new set of tools in the form of health information technology.

We are here to make sure that those tools are used fully to realize our collective aspirations. Information is the lifeblood of medicine. As health professionals and institutions, we are only as good as the information we have about the patients that we care for. Health IT is destined to be the circulatory system for that information in the decades to come.

The last several months have been a whirlwind of activity. And it is easy to forget how much we’ve accomplished. We established the meaningful use framework, one that I think is unprecedented in the history of electronic health information systems. No other country has laid out a similar framework for what can and should be accomplished using health information technology. And on January 3, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services will launch the registration process for those who wish to participate in the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs.

We’ve issued a standards and certification regulation. As of this week, we have five certifying bodies that are available to certify electronic health records. They’ve certified more than 200 records and modules in the several months since they’ve been in existence.

Regional extension centers – 62 of them are working hard to provide hands-on assistance to those providers that need the most help in making this transition. As of this week, 30,000 physicians have already enrolled in these extension programs across the United States.

The State Health Information Exchange Program has provided 56 states and territories with planning grants. More than 20 of these states and territories have approved implementation plans, and new implementation plans are being approved every day.

Seventeen Beacon Communities are now in place. They didn’t exist a year ago. They are paving the way toward real improvements in health and health care in the communities they serve, leveraging health information technology. The SHARP Program is tackling new challenges through research and development.

And ONC’s Workforce Development Programs are preparing a whole new workforce and creating new jobs to support the transformation of our health care system through the use of information technology. To date, we have seen almost 2,300 new enrollees in community college programs and close to 400 in University‑based Training Programs focused on health information technology. And we are well on our way in these very early stages toward meeting that target of 10,000 new health professionals trained annually during the lifetime of the program.

In addition to our grants, we have dozens of contracts that are supporting programs like the Nationwide Health Information Network. And our Health IT Policy Committee and Health IT Standards Committee continue to provide enormously valuable guidance on the many policies and standards that are needed to support execution against our mission.

All of these efforts not only play a critical role in our strategy related to the improvement of health and health care through information technology, but also provide the foundation for health systems change and upcoming reforms in how we deliver and pay for care.

As we look to 2011, there will be many challenges. Driving change is hard. And it takes leadership, commitment and the ability to move forward – despite the many obstacles that each of you will encounter. I hope your sense of contributing something unique to health care and the American people – for most certainly you are – balances the incredibly hard work that you are undertaking. Someday you will look back and realize that you were present at the creation of something big.

Thanks again, and we look forward to our continued collaboration in the new year.
###To comment directly on ONC’s Health IT Buzz Blog, click here.
See Blumenthal Letter #22 on e-Healthcare Marketing.

Blumenthal Letter #22: Ready for Jan 3 EHR Incentives Registration?

Registration for EHR Incentive Programs
Starts January 3, 2011: Are You Ready?

Dr. David Blumenthal

Dr. David Blumenthal

A Message from Dr. David Blumenthal, the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology
December 27, 2010

Published by ONC on 12/27/2010 and republished here.

The New Year is just around the corner, and so is another milestone in our nation’s work to improve health care through health information technology. Starting on January 3, 2011, eligible health care professionals, hospitals, and critical access hospitals may register to participate in the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs.

This is an auspicious time. Nearly two years ago, the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, was signed into law. Since then Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) agencies like the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the Office for Civil Rights (OCR), and others have implemented HITECH policies and programs to help providers adopt and achieve meaningful use of certified electronic health record technology and ensure that electronic health information remains private and secure.

[See Blumenthal's review of 2010, originally posted on ONC's Health IT Buzz blog.]

Why Become a Meaningful User?

Qualify for financial incentives from the federal government
Eligible professionals who demonstrate meaningful use have the opportunity to receive incentive payments through the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs—up to $44,000 from Medicare, or $63,750 from Medicaid.  Under both Medicare and Medicaid, eligible hospitals may receive millions of dollars for implementing and meaningfully using certified EHR technology. Providers can get started now with the help of financial incentives from the federal government. If they wait, those incentives may not be available. And financial penalties are scheduled to take effect in five years. 

Build a sustainable medical practice
The next generation of health care professionals will expect and demand that their own medical facility home have a state-of-the-art information system.  Becoming a meaningful user of electronic health records will allow providers who are building their practices to recruit and retain talented young clinicians.

Improve the safety and quality of health care 
The meaningful use of electronic health records will help health care providers and hospitals offer higher quality and safer care. By adopting electronic health records in a meaningful way, providers and hospitals can:

  • See the whole picture. All of a patient’s health information—medical history, diagnoses, medications, lab and test results—is in one place. Providers don’t have to settle for a snapshot when they can have the entire album.
  • Coordinate care. Providers involved in a patient’s care can access, enter, and share information in an electronic health record.
  • Make better decisions. With more comprehensive health information at their fingertips, providers can make better testing, diagnostic, and treatment decisions.
  • Save time and money. Providers who have implemented electronic health records say they spend less time searching for paper charts, transcribing, calling labs or pharmacies, reporting, and fixing coding errors.

ONC and CMS: Here To Help

Registration for the incentive programs may be close at hand, but so is assistance. If you need help in registering for the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs or selecting a certified EHR system, ONC and CMS have resources and services to help you.

  • The Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs website contains educational resources and fact sheets with information to help eligible professionals and hospitals adopt, implement, and upgrade certified EHR technology and demonstrate meaningful use to receive EHR incentive payments.
  • Regional Extension Centers, which cover every region of the country, provide on-the-ground technical assistance to health care providers working to adopt and meaningfully use certified EHR technology.
  • The Health IT Workforce Development Program prepares skilled workers for new jobs in health IT.

Connecting to Your Community
ONC also has other programs in place to help advance the meaningful use of certified EHR technology and health information exchange:

As 2010 comes to a close, we are well on our way as a nation to achieving the benefits of widespread adoption of EHRs. If you haven’t made any preparations to register to receive incentive payments, I encourage you to get started now. Resolve today to become a meaningful user in 2011.

David Blumenthal, MD, MPP
National Coordinator for Health Information Technology 
The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) encourages you to share this information as we work together to enhance the quality, safety and value of care and the health of all Americans through the use of electronic health records and health information technology.

For more information and to receive regular updates from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, please subscribe to our Health IT News list.

Health IT Special Issue of The American Journal of Managed Care: Dec 2010

AJMC Publishes Health Information Technology Special Issue Online Dec 20, 2010
“Featuring scholarly articles and perspectives from policymakers, payers, providers, pharmaceutical companies, health IT vendors, health services researchers, patients, and medical educators, this [December 2010 special] issue of  The American Journal of Managed Care is a reflection” of  “the  dramatic growth of interest in the potential for HIT to improve health and healthcare delivery,” writes Sachin H. Jain, MD, MBA and David Blumenthal, MD, MPP in their introductory article titled “Health Information Technology Is Leading Multisector Health System Transformation.”  Both Jain and Blumenthal are with the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology.

Authors of 23 Articles in Special Issue
Sachin H. Jain, MD, MBA; and, David Blumenthal, MD, MPP; Cynthia L. Bero, MPH; and Thomas H. Lee, MD; Aaron McKethan, PhD; and Craig Brammer; John Glaser, PhD; Pete Stark; Newt Gingrich, PhD, MA; and Malik Hasan, MD; James N. Ciriello, MS; and Nalin Kulatilaka, PhD, MS; Seth B. Cohen, MBA, MPA; Kurt D. Grote, MD; Wayne E. Pietraszek, MBA; and Francois Laflamme, MBA; Amol S. Navathe, MD, PhD; and Patrick H. Conway, MD, MSc; Reed V. Tuckson, MD; Denenn Vojta, MD; and Andrew M. Slavitt, MBA; Marc M. Triola, MD; Erica Friedman, MD; Christopher Cimino, MD; Enid M. Geyer, MLS, MBA; Jo Wiederhorn, MSW; and Crystal Mainiero; Nancy L. Davis, PhD; Lloyd Myers, RPh; and Zachary E. Myers; Bryant A. Adibe, BS; and Sachin H. Jain, MD, MBA; Spencer S. Jones, PhD; John L. Adams, PhD; Eric C. Schneider, MD; Jeanne S. Ringel, PhD; and Elizabeth A. McGlynn, PhD; Jeffrey L. Schnipper, MD, MPH; Jeffrey A. Linder, MD, MPH; Matvey B. Palchuk, MD, MS; D. Tony Yu, MD; Kerry E. McColgan, BA; Lynn A. Volk, MHS; Ruslana Tsurikova, MA; Andrea J. Melnikas, BA; Jonathan S. Einbinder, MD, MBA; and Blackford Middleton, MD, MPH, MS;Alexander S. Misono, BA; Sarah L. Cutrona, MD, MPH; Niteesh K. Choudhry, MD, PhD; Michael A. Fischer, MD, MS; Margaret R. Stedman, PhD; Joshua N. Liberman, PhD; Troyen A. Brennan, MD, JD; Sachin H. Jain, MD, MBA; and William H. Shrank, MD, MSHS; Amir Dan Rubin, MBA, MHSA; and Virginia A. McFerran, MA; Fredric E. Blavin, MS; Melinda J. Beeuwkes Buntin, PhD; and Charles P. Friedman, PhD Robert D. Hill, PhD; Marilyn K. Luptak, PhD, MSW; Randall W. Rupper, MD, MPH; Byron Bair, MD; Cherie Peterson, RN, MS; Nancy Dailey, MSN, RN-BC; and Bret L. Hicken, PhD, MSPH; Jeffrey A. Linder, MD, MPH; Jeffrey L. Schnipper, MD, MPH; Ruslana Tsurikova, Msc, MA; D. Tony Yu, MD, MPH; Lynn A. Volk, MHS; Andrea J. Melnikas, MPH; Matvey B. Palchuk, MD, MS; Maya Olsha-Yehiav, MS; and Blackford Middleton, MD, MPH, MSc; Emily Ruth Maxson, BS; Melinda J. Beeuwkes Buntin, PhD; and Farzad Mostashari, MD, ScM; Daniel C. Armijo, MHSA; Eric J. Lammers, MPP; and Dean G. Smith, PhD; Katlyn L. Nemani, BA.

Look for an upcoming post on e-Healthcare Marketing reviewing this special issue of AJMC.

New Series of ONC Fact Sheets on EHR, HIE Programs and Health IT Topics

ONC Fact Sheets Page
New Information Pages/Sheets published by ONC on 12/3/2010.

'Get The Facts' Fact Sheet

'Get The Facts' Fact Sheet

 On December 3, 2010, the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) for Health IT published seven new one-page Fact Sheets on a range of their Health IT initiatives in both HTML and PDF formats. In addition ONC published links to two Health IT programs, one from Department of Health and Human Services in 2007, and the other updated in September 2009 from AHRQ. 

 The seven ONC one-pagers appear to be the first shots of a more extensive PR campaign to get the word out  beyond those “already in the know,” to those physicians, healthcare professionals, and the general public who have not been following HITECH, ONC, and the state-level  Health IT programs as closely as the early adopters. They will also provide materials for the regional extension centers to distribute to physicians and clinicians.

About Electronic Health Records

HITECH Programs
     Get the Facts about

Health IT Topics

Links to HTML versions of the seven ONC Fact Sheets on e-Healthcare Marketing.
In addition to the links above which go to the ONC Web site, the seven Fact Sheets are available in HTML on e-Healthcare Marketing.

1. Electronic Health Records: Advancing America’s Health Care
2. Using EHRs to Improve Health Care in Your Practice and Community
3. Beacon Community Program
4. State Health Information Exchange
5. HIT Extension Program (Regional Extension Centers)
6. SHARP (Strategic Health IT Advanced Research Projects) Program
7. Health IT Workforce Development Program

ONC Fact Sheet: Strategic Health IT Advanced Research Projects (SHARP) Program

ONC Fact Sheet: Strategic Health IT Advanced Research Projects (SHARP) Program
Published on ONC site 12/3/2010.

The nation has made great strides towards a technologically advanced health care system that offers improved quality, safety, and efficiency. However, there remain challenges and barriers to the adoption of electronic health records and other forms of health information technology (health IT).

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology has funded the Strategic Health IT Advanced Research Projects (SHARP) program to directly confront these challenges.

The SHARP program supports the discovery of “breakthrough” research findings that will accelerate the nationwide use of health IT and will support dramatic improvements in health care.

About the SHARP Program
SHARP program grants have been awarded to four universities and health care organizations that are leading the way in health IT research and innovation. Each awardee has received $15 million to lead a large collaborative of diverse health care stakeholders, conducting research in one of the following areas:

  • Security and Health Information Technology 

Goals:Develop technologies and policies to increase security safeguards and reduce risk; develop technologies to build and protect public trust

  • Patient-Centered Decision-Making Support

Goals:Use the power of health IT to integrate and support doctors’ reasoning and decision-making as they care for patients

  • Health Care Application and Network Design

Goals:Create new and improved system designs to achieve information exchange and ensure privacy and security of electronic health information

  • Secondary Use of EHR Information

Goals:Develop strategies for using information stored in electronic health records for improving the overall quality of health care while maintaining the privacy and security of protected health information

To accelerate health IT adoption, the universities and health care organizations will also work with technology developers, vendors, and health care providers to apply their findings to the practice of medicine.

For More Information About:

Download Get the facts about SHARP Program [PDF - 276 KB]