On Tuesday, the eHealth Initiative released public comments stating that the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT should scale down its plans for the governance of the Nationwide Health Information Network, Health Data Management reports (Goedert, Health Data Management, 7/3).
NwHIN is a national health IT infrastructure that aims to help health care providers exchange data. The 2009 federal economic stimulus package called for the ONC to establish a governing body for NwHIN.
In May, ONC issued a request for information on the creation of a NwHIN governance structure. According to an ONC presentation, the NwHIN governance mechanism will include rules on technical, business practice, privacy and security requirements to establish a common trust framework for the exchange (iHealthBeat, 7/2).
eHealth Initiative's Comments
In its comments, the eHealth Initiative wrote that ONC's proposed framework for NwHIN governance takes a "heavy regulatory approach."
Jennifer Covich Bordenick, CEO of the eHealth Initiative, said the group "strongly recommends that ONC take a step back, seek more input from additional stakeholders and develop a revised approach that better supports the acceleration of trusted data exchange" (Conn, Modern Healthcare, 7/3).
The group also recommended that ONC:
- Reevaluate its timetable for the development of NwHIN governance;
- Better articulate the NwHIN governance issues that it seeks to address;
- Clarify which entities would be governed under NwHIN; and
- Leverage previous experiences with health data exchange governance, laws and regulations to support future work on NwHIN governance (Health Data Management, 7/3).