ONC in May 2012 issued a request for information as it sought to establish a governance mechanism for the emerging nationwide health information network. But stakeholders reacted with concern, warning the agency that the vary act of beginning a regulatory process could slow development of HIEs. For instance, the eHealth Initiative Coalition worried that ONC was getting ready to overregulate an activity—information exchange–that was still evolving.
Consequently, ONC in September backed away, saying it would not pursue formal rulemaking at that time. In December, the agency announced theavailability of grants, with a Feb. 14 application deadline, to encourage continued development and dissemination of HIE best practices.
Now, ONC through the Web-based Town Halls will seek additional industry input on advancing HIE governance goals. Participation is free but registration is required. More information is available here.