As the American Health Information Community (AHIC) formally concluded its work to coincide with the creation of AHIC Successor, Inc., Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt reflected on the organizations successes since its inception in 2005. AHIC has brought together more than 160 public and private sector experts to develop recommendations for advancing health IT, and held 25 public meetings and 176 public AHIC workgroup meetings that resulted in 200 recommendations. The results have been a plethora of identification, certification and interoperability standards for health IT with many more to come in January of 2009.
Additionally, health IT outreach and adoption incentives were cited, with special consideration given to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services identification of 12 participating communities in a national Medicare demonstration project that provides incentive payments to physicians for using certified electronic health records. Successful live demonstrations of the National Health Information Network as well as the robust privacy and security workgroup policies that have furthered health IT were also praised.
"The talent, dedication and hard work by the AHIC board, its many workgroup members and the dedicated staff of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology was invaluable to me in shaping policy and program initiatives to advance health IT," said Secretary Leavitt.