ONC

By Jonah Comstock August 15, 2016
Last week, Dr. Karen DeSalvo stepped down after a two-and-a-half-year tenure heading up the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT, handing the keys over to former principal deputy director Vindell Washington. DeSalvo took on the post of National Coordinator at the beginning of 2014, after a brief stint by Dr. Jacob Reider and a two-year tenure by Dr. Farzad Mostashari. "Under [DeSalvo'...
By Heather Mack August 15, 2016
Dr. Karen DeSalvo, head of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, has resigned from her post and will now shift her attention to her duties as the Department of Health and Human Services’ acting assistant secretary for health. Dr. Vindell Washington, ONC principal deputy national coordinator, will be her successor. DeSalvo wrote on twitter she was “Thrilled to...
By Jonah Comstock July 19, 2016
The ONC issued a report to Congress today laying out the gaps that exist in health data protection. The report opines at length about non-covered entities (NCEs), the large swath of consumer-facing companies that aren’t subject to HIPAA. “The wearable fitness trackers, social media sites where individuals share health information through specific social networks, and other technologies that are...
By Jonah Comstock June 7, 2016
Last week the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT launched two new online tools to connect patients to their data, a series of consumer-facing videos to educate patients about their data access rights and a provider-facing “Patient Engagement Playbook” to walk hospitals through the steps to patient engagement. “Many people are not fully aware of their right to access their own...
By Jonah Comstock June 6, 2016
Friday was the last day to submit comments to the ONC about how the entity ought to measure interoperability under MACRA. While a number of organizations submitted their thoughts, one letter stood out. The Consumer Partnership for eHealth (CPeH), a non-partisan coalition led by the National Partnership for Women and Families, argued that interoperability and information exchange won't truly be...
By Aditi Pai April 6, 2016
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has released a new interactive tool on its website, with help from the Office of National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), Office for Civil Rights (OCR) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), to help health app developers to determine whether certain regulations apply to their app. “Mobile app developers need clear information about the...
By Jonah Comstock March 9, 2016
Last week at HIMSS, ONC Chief Privacy Officer Lucia Savage talked about what HIPAA doesn't say. On Thursday, her predecessor, former ONC privacy chief Joy Pritts, talked about what HIPAA doesn't cover. Pritts, now a consultant, was joined by Morgan Reed, the executive director of ACT The App Association, in a talk about pitfalls providers can fall into when it comes to patient data privacy. "If I...
By Jonah Comstock March 7, 2016
The ONC and OCR are tired of providers using HIPAA as an excuse not to share data with patients — the opposite of its intended purpose. That was the strongest message delivered by ONC Chief Privacy Officer Lucia Savage, who said during an educational session at HIMSS16 in Las Vegas that her office is working on an educational campaign, including blog posts, fact sheets, and new guidance documents...
By Tom Sullivan March 1, 2016
National coordinator Karen DeSalvo, MD, announced three new developer challenges that aim to advance interoperability via the emerging FHIR standard Tuesday morning at HIMSS16   The “challenge grants” have three streams: a consumer-facing, vendor neutral app based on FHIR (Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources), a provider-facing app, and a discovery place where people can go to download...
By Jonah Comstock September 21, 2015
The HHS Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) recently released a whitepaper, based on a workshop held last April, on designing telehealth and remote visits for consumers. The 20-page document is interesting, extensive, and hits on some good points about how to make telehealth convenient and effective for consumers. Yet both the whitepaper and the workshop excluded the viewpoint...