The Government Accountability Office (GAO) made seven new appointments to its Health Information Technology Advisory Committee (HITAC), according to a Dec. 20 press release.

The seven new members include:

  • Hans Buitendijk, Director of Interoperability Strategy at Cerner Corporation;
  • Steven Eichner, Health IT Lead at the Texas Department of State Health Services;
  • Rajesh Godavarthi, Associate VP of Technology and Interoperability at MCG Health;
  • Hung Luu, Director of Clinical Pathology at Children’s Health in Plano and Dallas, Texas;
  • Aaron Neinstein, VP of Digital Health at University of California San Francisco (UCSF) Health, Senior Director at the UCSF Center for Digital Health Innovation, and Associate Professor of Medicine at UCSF;
  • Eliel Oliveira, Director of Research and Innovation at the Dell Medical School of the University of Texas at Austin; and
  • Fillipe Southerland, Director of Healthcare Solutions at Yardi Systems, Inc.

The new members will be appointed for three-year terms and can be reappointed for subsequent three-year terms.

“Today’s appointees bring impressive qualifications and a range of experiences and perspectives to the HITAC’s work on such issues as the use of technology to promote care coordination, addressing the needs of children and other vulnerable populations, and supporting public health,” said Gene Dodaro, Comptroller General of the U.S. and head of GAO, in a press release. “These new additions, along with the existing members, will be a key source of advice for advancing the electronic access, exchange, and use of health information, as outlined in the 21st Century Cures Act.”

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The 21st Century Cures Act, enacted in 2016, established the HITAC, while giving the Comptroller General the power to appoint at least 14 of the group’s members. 11 of the members are appointed by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, the Majority and Minority leaders of the Senate, and the Speaker and Minority Leader of the House of Representatives.

The committees role is to provide “recommendations to the National Coordinator for Health IT on policies, standards, implementation specifications, and the certification criteria relating to the implementation of a health IT infrastructure that advances the electronic access, exchange, and use of health information.”

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Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith is a MeriTalk Staff Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.
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