US stimulus funding and IT standards

US government officials will publish an interim rule on the ‘meaningful use’ of EHRs, with a final rule to be issued early next year, developed from work by the Health IT Standards Committee. The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT is scheduled to release interim certification standards on meaningful use by the end of the month, along with data protection standards.  In addition, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is expected to publish guidance on the federal incentive payment programs under ARRA (stimulus).  The vice chair of the committee stated that the group will continue its efforts to develop data standards, facilitate EHR adoption and reduce barriers to health IT.  All notable and noble aims, but the big issues relate to both data transport and security. Of note:  at least one person on the data privacy and security work group is an expert–he’s CTO for health solutions for the security giant SAIC.  iHealthBeat.  Government Health IT article.