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Privacy Advocates Resign from Federal Health IT Committee

By M.L. Baker Print this article Print

Directors of a privacy advocacy group suggest that the committee is pushing health IT forward without considering necessary policy issues.

Citing lack of progress, the deputy director of the nonprofit Health Privacy Project resigned as co-chair of a federal committee charged with advising the government on privacy issues in electronic health information.

In an open letter to the health IT czar, Health Privacy Project Director Janlori Goldman and Deputy Director Paul Feldman said they were unable to continue their work on a subcommittee of the American Health Information Community. AHIC, which consists of industry leaders as well as representatives from large government groups, was created to advise the Department of Health and Human Services on market-driven ways to better use information technology to improve health care and cut costs.

From the start, the subcommittee seemed an afterthought. Though AHIC held its first meeting in October 2005, the Confidentiality, Privacy, and Security Workgroup, or CPS, was only instituted in the latter half of 2006.

The committee met six times since August 2006 and drafted recommendations to help ensure that health information was released only to authorized individuals. In their letter, Feldman and Goldman implied that AHIC was pushing health IT forward without considering necessary policy issues.

Read the full story on eWEEK.com: Privacy Advocates Resign from Federal Health IT Committee.

This article was originally published on 2007-02-22
Monya Baker is co-editor of CIOInsight.com's Health Care Center. She has written for publications including the journal Nature Biotechnology, the Acumen Journal of Sciences and the American Medical Writers Association, among others, and has worked as a consultant with biotechnology companies. A former high school science teacher, Baker holds a bachelor's degree in biology from Carleton College and a master's of education from Harvard.
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