At the inaugural board meeting of the American Health Information Community's successor group, outgoing HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt warned that health IT progress could stall under the incoming Obama administration and the new Congress, Government Health IT reports.
AHIC 2.0, an independent public-private partnership, was incorporated in July to continue the health IT standards development work started by AHIC, a federal health IT advisory group.
Leavitt said that AHIC laid the necessary groundwork "to transition at the right moment to a group that could have the virtue of public sector involvement but private sector innovation, and speed and flexibility." However, he warned that if Congress abandons the public-private model in favor of legislating health IT standards, the process will suffer.
He said that "some of those folk may logically think, 'Well, we need some standards, let's have the government do it or let's have somebody else do it,' without knowing what has gone into the development of where we are today," adding, "It is frighteningly possible that they could begin to do all of this again."
To prevent such a scenario, Leavitt urged AHIC 2.0 board members to educate lawmakers about the implications of changing course (Pulley, Government Health IT, 11/14).