ONC Seeking Applications to Health IT Advisory Committee

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) is currently seeking applications for the newly formed 25-member Health Information Technology Advisory Committee (HITAC).

The 21st Century Cures Act established the HITAC to provide recommendations to ONC on policies, standards, implementation specifications, and certification criteria, relating to the implementation of a health information technology infrastructure, nationally and locally, that advances the electronic access, exchange, and use of health information.

The online application form can be found here. Applications for the HHS appointments on the committee will be accepted until noon (EST) on August 4, 2017.

HITAC unifies the roles of, and replaces, the Health Information Technology Policy Committee and the Health Information Technology Standards Committee, as in existence before the date of the enactment of the 21st Century Cures Act.

The 21st Century Cures Act requires the HHS Secretary to appoint three members; one shall be a representative of HHS and one shall be a public health official. The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a similar call for nominations to the HIT Advisory Committee back in March. The Cures law gives the Comptroller General of the GAO the job of appointing 14 of the committee’s members. The members of the committee must reflect providers, ancillary health care workers, consumers, purchasers, health plans, health IT developers, researchers, patients, relevant Federal agencies, and individuals with technical expertise on health care quality, system functions, privacy, security, and on the electronic exchange and use of health information, including the use standards for such activity.

The remaining members of the HITAC are chosen by majority and minority leaders of the Senate, and the speaker and minority leader of the House of Representatives.

Currently, members have Congress have appointed four members to the committee—Anil K. Jain, vice president and chief health informatics officer, IBM Watson Health; Steven Lane, M.D., clinical informatics director with Sacramento, Calif.-based Sutter Health; Steve L. Ready, CIO of Louisville, Ky.-based Norton Healthcare and Patrick Soon-Shiong, M.D., a biotech entrepreneur and surgeon and founder of capital investment firm Nant Capital, health technology development company NantWorks and personalized medicine subsidiary NantHealth.

The federal register notice regarding the call for applications can be found here.