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White House Warns of Increased Potential for Cybersecurity Attacks

In a statement released March 21, President Biden warned the U.S. of the increased threat of cyber attacks by the Russian government. The President noted the Department of Homeland Security's Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency is working with organizations across critical infrastructure to take steps to protect against or mitigate attacks.


ONC Develops Attestations Fact Sheet

The ONC Health IT Certification Program has released a new resource to help Certified Health IT Developers understand their responsibilities under the Attestations Condition and Maintenance of Certification requirements as specified in the ONC Cures Act Final Rule. The first 30-day attestation window is slated to open April 1, 2022. View the Fact Sheet.

VA Office of Inspector General Finds Deficiencies in EHR Implementation

The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Office of Inspector General released the second in a series of reports regarding deficiencies in care coordination resulting from a new EHR system at the VA Medical Center in Spokane, Wash. For more information and to view the report, see: Report Summary.

March 31 Virtual Meeting on AHRQ's Common Formats

Software developers, vendors, and other users interested in improving ways to collect and analyze patient safety data using AHRQ's Common Formats are invited to join a free virtual meeting on Thursday, March 31, from 1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. ET. Representatives from two patient safety organizations that currently use Common Formats in their work with healthcare providers will share their experiences and challenges. Register by Wednesday, March 30.

HHS Cybersecurity Newsletter

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Civil Rights recently issued its Q1 2022 cybersecurity newsletter. This edition addresses defenses against common cyber-attacks, with an overview of legal responsibilities to ensure the security of electronic protected health information.

HITAC Annual Report for Fiscal Year 2021

The Health Information Technology Advisory Committee (HITAC) has transmitted the HITAC Annual Report for Fiscal Year 2021 to the HHS Secretary and Congress. Required by the 21st Century Cures Act, this fourth edition of the HITAC annual report describes the HITAC's progress during fiscal year 2021. The annual report also describes the health IT and health care industries' progress in advancing the health IT infrastructure in several target areas: use of technologies that support public health, interoperability, privacy and security, and patient access to information.

ONC Announces New Tool – Inferno Redesigned

ONC recently announced the update of the Inferno Framework and the (g)(10) Standardized API Test Kit, the new version of the testing method for the § 170.315(g)(10) certification criterion adopted as part of the ONC Health IT Certification Program. Check out the tool.

Meeting Notice: National Artificial Intelligence Research Resource Task Force

The National Science Foundation has announced a May 20, 2022, meeting of the National Artificial Intelligence Research Resources Task Force. For meeting and registration details, see the Federal Register meeting notice.

Legislation & Politics

Congress Continues ARPA-H Consideration

As reported in the last edition of the Washington Download, Congress provided $1 billion to establish the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H). This funding was included in the omnibus appropriations bill signed into law by President Biden on March 15, 2022. This appropriations legislation also provided authority to the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to transfer ARPA-H to any department within HHS.

Funding was provided without companion legislation to authorize ARPA-H. The Senate has taken steps to authorize ARPA-H through an amendment to the PREVENT Pandemics Act, considered by the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee. Under this authorization, ARPA-H would be housed within NIH. The House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee held a hearing on March 17, 2022, a portion of which focused on authorization for ARPA-H and where it should be housed, with a preference toward housing it outside of NIH. Further updates will be provided as developments occur.

Around the Web

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.