The eHealth Initiative industry coalition is urging the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology to scale down its plans for a governance model for the emerging Nationwide Health Information Network.

ONC appears to be getting set to overregulate an activity--health information exchange--that is still evolving, eHealth Initiative contends. “ONC’s proposed regulations could potentially hamper, not enhance, the growth and development of the health information exchange sector,” says CEO Jennifer Covich Bordenick. “Therefore, we strongly recommend 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.”

In response to ONC’s request for information issued in May, eHealth Initiative makes 13 recommendations in its comment letter, including:

* Reconsider the timetable for development of governance, as HIE has not achieved a critical mass necessary to establish a regularly approach of ONC’s proposed scale and nature;

* Provider clearer articulation of the problems ONC seeks to solve as barriers to HIE are not addressed by ONC’s proposed framework;

* Provide clarification of who would be governed by NwHIN governance, as the organizations to be regulated are vaguely referenced in the RFI; and

* Leverage existing experiences of HIE governance, laws and regulations to support governance, and the work of consensus-based standards development organizations.

The eHealth Initiative comment letter to ONC is available here.

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