Following a decision earlier this year to not develop a formal governance mechanism for the nationwide health information network, the federal government will offer grants to entities already involved in health information exchange governance to encourage continued development and dissemination of best practices.

Publication of a Funding Opportunity Announcement is part of a new initiative of the Office of the National Coordinator for HIT to continue supporting consistent rules of the road for health information exchange across the nation. In a blog posting, National Coordinator Farzad Mostashari, M.D., explains supporting initiatives beyond newly available grants:

* In January, ONC will host a technical assistance call on the grant opportunities, as well as a listening session on HIE governance, and the HIT Policy and Standards Committees will hold a public hearing on Jan. 29 on the current state of HIE;

* The National e-Health Collaborative will work with stakeholder governance entities to identify common issues and problems in HIE governance and best practices for addressing them; and

* ONC will publish governance guidance and launch a monitoring program to ensure that governance goals are being addressed.

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