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Friday, January 29, 2010

No-Cost Extension to Contract announced by ANSI/HITSP

Recently, I've seen a few media reports that HITSP is over, and at least one clarification/retraction.  To ensure that everyone knows what is really going on, I've been given permission to reproduce this communication from the ANSI/HITSP secretariat to the members...

Document Number: HITSP 10 N 459

Date: January 28, 2010

TO: Healthcare Information Technology Standards Panel (HITSP) and Public Stakeholders - - FOR INFORMATION

FROM: Michelle Maas Deane

HITSP Secretariat

American National Standards Institute

RE: No-Cost Extension to the HITSP Contract

Please note that the following remarks were made to the HITSP Panel meeting on January 25, 2010 by Frances E. Schrotter, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, ANSI.

ANSI is pleased to announce that the Government has granted HITSP a no-cost extension to the current contract which will continue through April 30th, 2010. Among other things, this will enable HITSP to have a presence at the upcoming HIMSS conference, and support the quality reporting activities being demonstrated in the Interoperability Showcase there.

Because the extension is ‘no-cost’, there will necessarily be a ramp-down in HITSP operations which will have the following characteristics:

  1. The primary HITSP Contractors, ANSI (including GSI Health), HIMSS, Booz Allen Hamilton, and ATI, will remain engaged to operate the initiative during the extension period.
  2. The public website will remain active at least through the extension period, to allow for access to HITSP’s body of work by members and industry.
  3. HITSP will not convene the Board or Panel during the extension period beyond 1/31/2010. Further, none of the committees (Technical nor Coordination) will be officially convened during this period.
  4. While we will not have a need to continue to engage our many subcontractors who have served as writers and facilitators, I want to take this opportunity to express our deep appreciation to each and every one of you. Without you, we could not have accomplished what we did and we all owe you a great debt of gratitude. We remain hopeful that an opportunity will arise in which we will reengage you. In the mean time, we welcome your voluntary participation in HITSP activities during this period, recognizing your important role as a stakeholder in this process as well as staff.
  5. Current term limits notwithstanding, ANSI would be very pleased if the existing leadership and membership of HITSP would maintain their existing positions in the organization during the extension period, albeit with reduced activity. Specifically –
  • ANSI would be very pleased if our Chair, Dr. John Halamka, would agree to remain as Chair during this period, serving as a public face of HITSP, and particularly being available to represent HITSP in the scheduled Standards Town Hall during the HIMSS10 Conference and Exhibition in March.
  • ANSI would be very pleased if the current HITSP Board members would agree to maintain their seats during the extension period, and agree to remain listed on the website as such, in the event a circumstance arises in which their service is needed. If there are Board members who do not wish to maintain their seats, we ask that they notify Fran Schrotter or Michelle Deane from ANSI, or alternatively, Lee Jones, HITSP Program Manager.
  • ANSI would be very pleased if the current member organizations of the Panel would agree to continue their membership, and remain listed on the website as such. If there are Panel members who do not wish to maintain their seats, we ask that they notify Fran Schrotter or Michelle Deane from ANSI, or alternatively, Lee Jones, HITSP Program Manager.
  • ANSI would be very pleased if the current leadership of the Technical Committees, Tiger Teams and Coordination Committees would agree to continue in their offices, to be available to respond to issues triaged to them from ANSI regarding the HITSP body of work, as needed. If there are Committee/Tiger Team co-chairs who do not wish to maintain their seats, we ask that they notify Fran Schrotter or Michelle Deane from ANSI, or alternatively, Lee Jones, HITSP Program Manager.
  • ANSI is not disbanding the HITSP committees, though they are not anticipated to be formally convened to accomplish official HITSP work during the period post 1/31/2009. We understand the sense of community engendered in these groups, and therefore will continue to make available the Technical and Coordination committee membership areas of SharePoint collaboration site so that those currently with access credentials will maintain their level of access unless surrendered. Similarly, the listservs will remain active, though the privileges to directly post to them will be restricted. Please see Michelle Deane from ANSI with any specific questions on those matters.
  • During the extension period, ANSI asks that those holding any of the roles just described would seek prior-authorization from ANSI before speaking authoritatively on behalf of HITSP in a formal setting, such as a publication or public presentation or speech. This will allow for ANSI to better manage the official public posture, messaging, and obligations of HITSP. Please contact Fran Schrotter or Michelle Deane from ANSI, or alternatively, Lee Jones, HITSP Program Manager, for any such authorization.
Regarding others of matters of import for the current period, we offer the following commentary in response to recent inquiries:
  • The current work deliverables of the committees will all be delivered to ONC with full communication of their current state. This makes it available to the Government for all future deliberations they deem relevant to leverage the strong work products of HITSP. Further, those portions of the current period’s work that are ready for public comment will, in fact, be published for public comment, and made available on the HITSP website in typical fashion consistent with activity. The comment tracking system will be opened to receive comments, and those members currently with privileges in that system to see those comments will retain that level of access. We believe that convening the comment period enhances the work of the Technical Committees/Tiger Teams by garnering broader input on the subject matter, thereby increasing the value of the artifacts for the industry and the government. There will be a couple of notable differences between this upcoming comment period and historical ones, namely:
    1. There is currently no plan for formal disposition of the comments gathered, and such work will be deferred until the resumption of normal HITSP activity.
    2. ANSI will export all comments gathered during the comment period, and publish them on the HITSP public website for broader access by members and industry.
  • We recognize the importance and relevance of the recently-published Interim Final Rule (IFR), and Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM), and have received inquiries regarding HITSP mounting a formal unified response to submit during their respective comment periods. We are unable to support a unified response inasmuch as it would require gathering individual input, synthesizing same into a coherent response, and an additional convening of the Panel to review and approve the response. Unfortunately, these activities are not feasible within the parameters that were outlined regarding the extension period we are entering. However, HITSP certainly encourages its member organizations to respond individually, including the HITSP perspective into your commentary. If there are other ideas you may have as to how HITSP may be helpful toward that end, please let us know so we can determine the best way we can be helpful there.


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