Eric Hargan, acting secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, has appointed three members of a new federal advisory committee called for in the 21st Century Cures Act to advance an interoperable healthcare information technology infrastructure.

Created by Congress, the Health IT Advisory Committee is charged with making interoperability a priority and recommending standards, implementation specifications and certification criteria to the Office of the National Coordinator for health information technology. The HITAC replaces both the Health IT Policy and Standards Committees.

HHS Headquarters in Washington, D.C.
Brian M. Kalish/Employee Benefit Adviser

Hargan’s appointments to the new committee include:

  • Leslie Lenert, MD, chief research information officer, Medical University of South Carolina, the public health appointment.
  • Clem McDonald, MD, director of the Lister Hill National Center for Biomedical Communications, the HHS representative appointment.
  • Robert Wah, MD, global chief medical officer of DXC Technology, the at-large appointment.

The three HHS picks will join the 15 members already appointed to the HITAC by the Government Accountability Office. The GAO’s appointees will serve for one-, two- or three-year terms; all of them may be reappointed for subsequent three-year terms.

Also See: GAO appoints 15 members to new Health IT Advisory Committee

In addition to the GAO and HHS appointments, the Cures Act specifies that members of the new committee are to be appointed by the majority and minority leaders of the Senate, as well as the speaker and minority leader of the House of Representatives. So far, six of eight appointments have been made by congressional leaders.

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