A Healthy Blog

Massachusetts health care — wonky, with a healthy dose of reality

First Meeting of the Massachusetts Health Information Technology Council

First Meeting of the Massachusetts Health Information Technology Council

February 18, 2009

The first meeting of the Massachusetts Health Information Technology Council, established in SECTION 4 of Chapter 305, the cost containment law, will take place tomorrow, February 19, from 10 - 11:30, in the Matta Conference Room, 11th floor, 1 Ashburton Place, Boston. (Swearing in of members will take place a little before the start of the meeting.)

This council will be chaired by Secretary JudyAnn Bigby, and will include the secretary of administration and finance or a designee, the director of the office of Medicaid, and five governor appointees: Deborah Adair, Director of Health Information Services and Chief Privacy Officer at MGH, as the Expert in Health Information Privacy and Security; Karen Bell, Director of Health Information Technology (HIT) Adoption for the US Department of Health and Human Services, as the Expert in HIT; David Szabo, partner with Nutter, McClennen and Fish, where he is chair of the healthcare group, as the Expert in Law and Health Policy; and for the two open seats, Howard Koh, Associate Dean of Public Health Practice at the Harvard School of Public Health where he is a professor, and Health Care For All E-Health Consumer Advocate Lisa Fenichel. HCFA is pleased by these choices and particularly pleased by the inclusion of a consumer representative.

Like the council's overall agenda -- overseeing implementation of statewide interoperable health records by January 1, 2015 -- the agenda for this first meeting is an ambitious one and includes presentations about the Mass Technology Collaborative's E-Health Institute (EHI) and the HIT Council, as well as discussions about HIT in the federal stimulus package, the EHI budget, a draft RFP for HIT implementing organizations, and next steps.

As this is a public meeting, I encourage everyone with an interest in this topic to attend. There is much to be done, and the more input from the public there is, the better the final result. Let the work begin!
Lisa Fenichel