The Government Accountability Office has appointed 15 members to a new federal advisory committee created by the 21st Century Cures Act to advance an interoperable health information technology infrastructure.

Under provisions of the Cures Act signed into law in December, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT’s federal advisory bodies—the Health IT Policy and Standards Committees—are being replaced by a HIT Advisory Committee charged with making interoperability a priority.

The new committee will recommend to the National Coordinator “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,” according to the law.

“It is extremely valuable to have a range of perspectives and expertise in helping the government address challenges related to health information technology,” said GAO Head Gene Dodaro, who also serves as Comptroller General of the United States. “GAO received nominations for many highly qualified individuals, and I’m pleased to announce this first round of appointments to the HIT Advisory Committee.”

Also See: Feds seek members for new health IT advisory panel

Committee members appointed by GAO will serve for one- , two- , or three-year terms; all appointees may be reappointed for subsequent three-year terms.

Members appointed for one-year terms are Michael Adcock, executive director of the Center for Telehealth at the University of Mississippi Medical Center; Terrence O’Malley, a geriatrician at Massachusetts General Hospital; Carolyn Petersen, senior editor for Mayo Clinic’s health information website; Sasha TerMaat, director at Epic Systems; and Andrew Truscott, managing director for health and public service at Accenture.

Appointees for two-year terms include John Kansky, president and CEO of the Indiana Health Information Exchange; Denni McColm, CIO at Citizens Memorial Healthcare; Brett Oliver, CMIO for Baptist Health; Raj Ratwani, acting director of the National Center for Human Factors in Healthcare at MedStar Health; and Denise Webb, CIO of Marshfield Clinic Health System.

Members appointed for three-year terms are: Christina Caraballo, director of healthcare transformation at Get Real Health; Tina Esposito, vice president of information and technology innovation at Advocate Health Care; Brad Gescheider, senior director of provider and payer solutions at PatientsLikeMe; Kensaku Kawamoto, associate CMIO at University of Utah Health; and Sheryl Turney, senior director of all-payer claims database analytics and data policy and administration at Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield.

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