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ONC retires two committees; Fleming will report to ONC chief

GAO begins recruiting members for a new group, the Health Information Technology Advisory Committee.

Bernie Monegain, Editor, Healthcare IT News

HHS deputy assistant secretary for health technology John Fleming.HHS deputy assistant secretary for health technology John Fleming.

Two influential committees formed a few years after the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology was created in 2004 disbanded on Thursday, officials announced at a joint meeting of the Health IT policy and standards committees.

The members of the Health Information Technology Policy Committee and the Healthcare IT Standards Committee will soon be replaced by a new entity dubbed the Health Information Technology Advisory Committee.

Also announced Thursday, new HHS Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health Technology Reform John Fleming will be reporting to ONC Acting National Coordinator for Health Information Technology Jon White, MD. "John is part of the team," White told the committees. Fleming served as representative for Louisiana's 4th congressional district from 2009 to 2016.

[Also: John Fleming named health IT secretary at HHS, but what does that mean for ONC?]

The Government Accountability Office is recruiting members for the new committee.

Paul Tang, vice president and chief health transformation officer at IBM Watson Health, had served as vice chair of the Health Information Technology Policy Committee up until it was disbanded Thursday.

"These groups need to be closed down," Elise Sweeney Anthony, director of policy at ONC, said at the meeting. "GAO's nominations are still open and the ONC nomination process hasn't started yet."

As the meeting ended, members of the closing committees congratulated one another for helping push healthcare into the digital age.

This article first appeared in Healthcare IT News.

Twitter: @Bernie_HITN

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