At a recent meeting, Health IT Policy Committee members pushed back on a proposal from its governance work group for the structure of the Nationwide Health Information Network, InformationWeek reports.
Committee members took issue with the work group's suggestion that a nongovernmental organization be put in charge of distributing best practices and addressing issues in the NHIN.
John Lumpkin -- chair of the governance work group, and senior vice president and director of the health care group at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation -- said work group members expressed "concern about giving too much authority to a nongovernmental entity to resolve disputes."
Lumpkin added that the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT would decide which NGO would have that role.
National Coordinator for Health IT David Blumenthal said the governance work group should address the concerns on the proposal, including providing more details on a structure for the NGO (Guerra, InformationWeek, 11/22).
Patient Consent Concerns
Also at the meeting, an official with the Federation of American Hospitals expressed concerns relating to privacy and patient consent under HIPAA rules, Modern Healthcare reports.
Samantha Burch -- director of health care policy and research at FAH -- said that ongoing discussions in the Policy Committee's privacy and security "Tiger Team" might be outside the jurisdiction of HIPAA.
Burch said the federation is concerned whether the Tiger Team will leverage the "meaningful use" incentive payment program to open discussion on patient consent policy that HHS adjusted in 2002. That year, HHS changed a privacy rule to provide "regulatory permission" to disclose patient information without consent.
Burch said, "We're saying you shouldn't go further in the incentive program than what is required in the federal rule" (Conn, Modern Healthcare, 11/22).