HHS To Create Public-Private AHIC Successor

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AHIC Successor

As part of the efforts to design and establish a public-private partnership to succeed the American Health Information Community (AHIC) by fall 2008, HHS has issued the final white paper describing the vision for and attributes of a successor to the AHIC.

The purpose of the AHIC is to serve as an HHS advisory body on the development and adoption of health information technology (IT). The successor will build on the AHIC achievements to realize the vision of an interoperable health care system.

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"The AHIC work to date represents excellent progress in moving the national health IT agenda forward," Secretary Mike Leavitt said. "We have made major strides toward interoperability and the AHIC successor will be the vehicle to further advance standards creation and adoption in order to achieve nationwide interoperability. Interoperability is fundamental to the long-term success of health information exchange."

The AHIC successor will have representation from federal and state governments and from the private sector. The successor will adopt a business model that can continue and accelerate health IT interoperability through a strong public-private collaborative based in the private sector. By becoming private-sector health information community initiative, the AHIC successor will be empowered with a mission and governance structure that has the ability to rapidly adapt to meet changing needs and evolving technical standards. Development as a private-public partnership will ensure the long-term sustainability of the AHIC successor as a member-supported corporation.

"The AHIC succession will lead to a greater consensus among national health care stakeholders and lead to better health care in America through the widespread adoption of health IT," said HHS' National Coordinator for Health Information Technology Robert M. Kolodner, M.D.

A Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) to an entity selected to design and establish the AHIC successor by spring 2008 will be issued later this month and a grant will be awarded this fall. A public information meeting will be held on Aug. 17, 2007, to discuss how interested parties can participate in the design and establishment of the successor. In early September 2007, another public meeting will be held to answer detailed questions related to the NOFA.

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