Transcript:
This week in Washington—HHS announces a health IT workgroup, and this podcast moves to a new web address. You are tuning in to the National Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems health policy update for the week of April 15, 2013.

On April 18, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced the creation of a new workgroup that will focus on patient safety, innovation, regulatory efficiency and mobile medical applications in health information technology (health IT). The work group was selected by HHS and the Federal Communications Commission and will report to the health IT policy committee, which advises the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT. The group will hold their first meeting on April 29. Their input will be used by the health IT policy committee as the committee works on recommendations for a health IT framework. A full list of workgroup members is available in HHS’ April 18 press release, which is available on hhs.gov.

In other health IT news, a group of republican senators recently released a white paper outlining problems they have identified with health IT initiatives. The paper focuses on the initiatives included in the Health Information Technology and Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, which was part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The HITECH Act provided $35 billion to promote the adoption and utilization of health IT among providers. The senators noted implementation deficiencies in lack of interoperability, increased costs, lack of oversight, risk to patient privacy and program sustainability. The paper was released as part of a broader effort as they work with the administration and stakeholders to identify and address problems within the program.

If you subscribe to this podcast via iTunes or an RSS feed, please take special note: we have moved the location of this podcast online effective April 30, and you may need to re-subscribe. If you experience an interruption in your automatic updates, please visit www.naph.org/podcast for new subscription links. Thanks for listening to another edition of This Week in Washington. I’m Zina Gontscharow; join us next week for another update.