03-04-13 | Blog Post

Liveblogging HIMSS 13: Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) HIE Town Hall

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Online Tech is exhibiting our HIPAA hosting solutions for the healthcare industry at HIMSS 13 in New Orleans this year! Tune into our Twitter and follow our blog for updates on the latest HIMSS 13 news.

If you’re at HIMSS 13, visit booth #1369 to say hi or schedule a free one-on-one consultationwith a panel of health IT experts.

Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) HIE (Health Information Exchange) Town Hall

Description: Join the Leadership Team from ONC in an interactive session to learn more about current and planned health information exchange initiatives. ONC will engage the audience in an open dialog and solicit input regarding critical next steps in our efforts to strengthen health information exchange, support implementation of Meaningful Use Stage 2 and use policy levers to accelerate exchange.

HIMSS 13 Farzad Mostashari Kicks Off ONC Town Hall
HIMSS 13 Farzad Mostashari Kicks Off ONC Town Hall

National Coordinator for Health Information Technology Farzad Mostashari kicking off the ONC townhall!

Meaningful Use 3-Part Aim:

  • Better Health
  • Reduced Costs
  • Better Healthcare

Featuring speakers:

David Muntz: Principal Deputy National Coordinator
David Muntz serves as the Principal Deputy National Coordinator at the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in Washington, DC. In this role, David works directly with the National Coordinator, Dr. Farzad Mostashari, and oversees the activities of the four offices within ONC: Office of the Deputy National Coordinator for Programs and Policy; Office of the Deputy National Coordinator for Operations; Office of Economic Analysis, Evaluation, and Modeling; and the Office of the Chief Scientist.

Judy Murphy, RN, FACMI, FHIMSS, FAAN: Deputy National Coordinator for Programs and Policy
Judy Murphy is Deputy National Coordinator for Programs & Policy at the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT, Department of Health and Human Services in Washington D.C. She is a nurse, who came to the ONC in December of 2011 with more than 25 years of health informatics experience at Aurora Health Care in Wisconsin, an integrated delivery network with 15 hospitals, 120 ambulatory centers, home health agencies and over 30,000 employees. She led the EHR program since 1995, when Aurora was one of the early adopters of health IT. Most recently she was Vice President-EHR Applications, and managed the organization’s successful achievement of Stage 1 EHR Meaningful, with incentive payments beginning in September 2011.
Mat Kendall: Director, Office of Provider Adoption Support

Joy Pritts: Chief Privacy Officer
Joy Pritts joined the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) in February 2010 as Chief Privacy Officer. Ms. Pritts provides critical advice to the Secretary and the National Coordinator in developing and implementing ONC’s HITECH privacy and security programs.



Doug Fridsma, M.D., Ph.D.: Director, Office of Science and Technology
Dr. Fridsma is the director of the Office of Standards and Interoperability and the Acting Chief Scientist in the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology. Prior to arriving at ONC, Dr. Fridsma was on the teaching staff in the Department of Biomedical Informatics at Arizona State University and had a clinical practice at Mayo Clinic Scottsdale.


Kelly Cronin: Health Care Reform Coordinator
Kelly Cronin is the Health Reform Coordinator in the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) and has been involved in establishing and evolving the national agenda for health information technology. Her current responsibilities involve coordination of ONC programs and policies with HHS related health reform implementation. She’s also been a senior advisor to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) Administrator, and has supported the establishment of the CMS Center for Innovation and development of CMS’s Accountable Care Organizations programs.

Jodi Daniel: Director, Office of Policy and Planning
Jodi Daniel has served as Director in the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), since October 2005. She is responsible for thought leadership, policy development, and identifying policy levers for health information technology (health IT) activities including, establishing new policies and working with other Federal agencies and private organizations to coordinate efforts regarding adoption and health information exchange. Ms. Daniel leads strategic initiatives regarding emerging issues in health care and technology, including consumer engagement using new technology (e.g., gaming, social media, mHealth), health IT safety (including clinical decision support, usability, and safety oversight), personalized medicine, and big data.

Access: giving patients access to their own information
Action: enabling the development of apps and tools and resources that let people act on their health information
Attitude: working towards a partnership goal between patients and providers – ONC is a catalyst to help leaders

Questions & Answers:

Question: Will there be one source for all clinical quality measures? Many systems with differing quality measures makes meaningful use difficult.
Answer: Yes, over time. Currently, we know hospital reporting program and meaningful use program feel and act differently than other programs. We are working to align all of these systems. We can’t say when we will land but

One source: Agency for Research and Quality, single source that references all the quality measures for Stage I and Stage II. Tomorrow, CMS townhall will speak about quality measures as well.

Question: How will ONC support HIT standards and efforts beyond Meaningful Use (MU)?
Answer: HITECH gave ONC the charge to establish the standards and implementation guides. This authority wasn’t tied to the incentive money, but as part of its mandate. Much of MU should be foundational for things coming down the line with healthcare reform. Our job certainly doesn’t end when it comes to MU programs with the end of the incentive money. That’s just the beginning after setting the stage.

For stage 2, we required health IT vendors to use user-centered design principals for testing EHRs. We’re hoping that this increases the likelihood that systems will anticipate user workflow needs instead of frustrating them.

Question: Will HHS require encryption for sharing PHI?
Answer: Providers are supposed to secure the data, such as with encryption when possible, but against that you have the patient’s right to access they’re information. When HHS released modifications to HIPAA, one question was, what if patient’s request unencrypted information. HHS answered that if the patient’s insist on unencrypted data, the patient must be warned, and then the provider will not be held liable. Encryption is encouraged, but we recognize patients have a right to their data and we need to help them get it.

Question: Fast forward to 2020. What is the most important achievement the ONC has accomplished 7 years from now?
Answer: Our even longer term vision is that every healthcare interaction benefits from all the world’s knowledge. Even from the last visit’s knowledge. That every visit contributes to the world knowledge. The hope is that every clinical encounter happens with the benefit of technology, and that providers are aware and responsible.

Question: Can you speak to the future of the RECs? How can we ensure that the good work over the last 3 years continues.
Answer: We at the ONC recognize that RECs have accomplished good use and in different parts of the country, they are doing great work. However, there any many constraints at the federal level that are inhibiting our further actions. There will certainly ways we’ll be able to work with RECs on plans and we’ll advise if constraints.

Question: As a cloud hosting provider, what should we do to support covered entities in addition to getting an independent audit against the OCR Audit Protocols?
Answer: One of the key things that cloud hosting providers should focus on is that they are sending the right message to covered entities. When vendors approach CEs and say “we’re HIPAA compliant, we’re done”, they are missing the bigger picture of compliance. It would be really helpful to remind vendors that it’s equally important to help covered entities meet administrative and physical safeguards – not just technical safeguards.

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