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House Energy and Commerce Discussion Draft – Data Privacy and Security

The House Energy and Commerce Committee Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Commerce held a legislative hearing last week on a bipartisan, bicameral discussion draft of a comprehensive national data privacy and security bill released by House Energy and Commerce Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr., (D-NJ), full Committee Ranking Member Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), and Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Ranking Member Roger Wicker (R-MS). The draft legislation would establish a uniform, national data privacy framework, create consumers' data privacy rights, and provide enforcement mechanisms. For details on the draft's provisions, click here.


GAO Seeks Nominees for HITAC

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) is currently seeking nominations for the Health Information Technology Advisory Committee (HITAC). HITAC provides recommendations to the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology on policies, standards, implementation specifications, and certification criteria relating to the implementation of a health information technology infrastructure that advances the electronic access, exchange, and use of health information. Nominations are due July 22. For details, click here. If interested in receiving a recommendation from AMIA, or for more information on these opportunities, please contact Peter Mihalick, AMIA Vice President of Public Policy.

Telehealth In the Spotlight

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office for Civil Rights recently issued guidance on how covered health care providers and health plans can use remote communication technologies to provide audio-only telehealth services, when such communications are conducted in a manner that is consistent with the applicable requirements of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) Privacy, Security, and Breach Notification Rules. View the guidance.

Additionally, a package of gun control provisions under consideration in Congress currently includes telehealth investments to expand access to mental health and suicide prevention services to treat patients in rural and underserved communities. AMIA will provide updates as legislative language is drafted.

AHRQ National Advisory Council Nominations

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) seeks nominations for new members to join its National Advisory Council (NAC). The NAC advises AHRQ's director and the Secretary of Health and Human Services on activities proposed or undertaken to carry out AHRQ's statutory mission. Applicants should submit a resume and statement of service before the July 5 deadline. Nominations (including self-nominations) should be forwarded to Jaime Zimmerman, MPH, PMP, at Click here for more information. If interested in receiving a recommendation from AMIA, or for more information on these opportunities, please contact Peter Mihalick, AMIA Vice President of Public Policy.

AHRQ New Common Formats for Event Reporting – Diagnostic Safety

AHRQ has announced the release of AHRQ's Common Formats for Event Reporting – Diagnostic Safety Events (CFER-DS) version 1.0, to enable the collection of diagnostic safety data in a standardized format. The goal is to enable providers to collect and exchange information about diagnostic safety events, allowing learning and improvement at the local, regional, and national levels. The CFER-DS can be used across all healthcare settings and specialties. Get more information, including tools and resources, on the new CFER-DS here.

AHRQ To Host June 30 Meeting on Common Formats for Patient Safety Data Collection

AHRQ will host a virtual public meeting on Thursday, June 30, from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. ET to discuss implementation of the Common Formats for Patient Safety Data Collection with software developers and other interested parties. Common Formats are data standards that allow non-identifiable patient safety data to be collected and analyzed by Patient Safety Organizations and reported to the network of patient safety databases. Learn more and register for the meeting.

HHS OIG Finds Inaccuracies in Medicare Race and Ethnicity Data

The HHS Office of Inspector General (OIG) recently issued a report that suggests inaccuracies in Medicare's race and ethnicity data hinders the assessment of health disparities. OIG recommends the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) take multiple steps to improve data collection, including: (1) develop its own source of race and ethnicity data, (2) use self-reported race and ethnicity information to improve data for current beneficiaries, (3) develop a process to ensure that the data are as standardized as possible, and (4) educate beneficiaries about CMS's efforts to improve the race and ethnicity information. Click here for more information.

ONC Announces 2022 LEAP Funding Opportunity

ONC recently announced a funding opportunity for Leading Edge Acceleration Projects (LEAP) in Health IT. Click here for details.

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AMIA's Washington Download is your source for health informatics policy news and information from around the Beltway, covering action from the Hill, the Administration and important AMIA collaborators.