Appointments to the 15-member board of AHIC Successor, the replacement organization to the federally chartered healthcare information technology advisory panel, include five physicians, one of whom works for the largest for-profit payer, WellPoint; plus representatives from drugmaker Eli Lilly and Co.; retailer Wal-Mart Stores, the head of a new electronic-prescribing software vendor, Prematics; one official each from state and local agencies but no representatives from the nation’s larger provider and payer of healthcare, the federal government.
According to the announcement, made during the second to last meeting of the American Health Information Community, HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt and Veterans Affairs Secretary James Peake will serve as “federal liaisons” to the board. Robert Kolodner, the physician who is head of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, “will continue to coordinate federal input into the public-private process.”
Leavitt created AHIC in 2005 with eight of its original 17 members representing federal government agencies, including Leavitt, who appointed himself chairman. But from its inception, Leavitt promised that the federally funded organization would be replaced by a private-sector organization before the end of the Bush administration.