The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently announced the appointment of three members to the Health Information Technology (HIT) Policy Committee.
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) established the HIT Policy Committee and gave the Comptroller General responsibility for appointing 13 of its 20 members. The HIT Policy Committee makes recommendations to the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) for Health IT on the development and adoption of a nationwide health information infrastructure, including standards for the exchange of patient medical information, according to the GAO.
James Ferguson, who will fil the position representing payers, is a fellow of the Institute for Health Policy and vice president of HIT Strategy and Policy at Oakland, Calif.-based Kaiser Permanente. He previously served on the ONC HIT Standards Committee.
Carolyn Petersen, who will fill the position of an advocate for patients and consumers, is senior editor for Mayoclinic.org of Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. She is a 30-year pediatric cancer survivor and has served as a consumer representative for multiple groups and is currently a member of the ethics committee of the American Medical Informatics Association.
Karen van Caulil, Ph.D, who will serve the position representing employers, is president and chief executive officer of the Florida Health Care Coalition, a business coalition on health representing 2 million individuals.
Gene Dodaro, Comptroller General of the United States and head of the GAO, announced the new appointees. “It’s important to have the input of key stakeholders in the development of health information technology policy. A number of strong candidates expressed an interest in serving on the Committee, and the individuals being named today will bring highly valuable perspectives to the work of the Committee,” Dodaro said in a statement.