ONC Tiger Team to make recommendations on Stage 2 rules

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT's Tiger Team currently is comparing the proposed rules implementing Stage 2 of Meaningful Use to the recommendations it made to ONC committees in preparation for new suggestions to improve the rules when they become final.

CMS incorporated many of the Tiger Team's comments and recommendations, noted Tiger team co-chair Paul Egerman, at its March 19 meeting. "We've got some victories worth celebrating," added co-chair Deven McGraw.

Some of the recommendations that CMS accepted include addressing encryption of data at rest, and the new "view, download and transmit" capability for patients. However, there were some ambiguities and recommendations that were not included in the proposed rules, such as requiring EHRs be tested for digital certifications and authentication for patient portals.

The Tiger Team meets periodically and makes recommendations to both the Health IT Policy Committee and the Health IT Standards Committee, which were both created by the HITECH Act. According to a Healthcare Info Security article, the Tiger Team will meet again on March 28 to continue its analysis, and will present conclusions at the Health IT Policy Committee meeting April 4. The  team also will have another opportunity to "bat cleanup on these issues" at the Policy Committee's meeting May 2, McGraw said in the meeting.

McGraw noted that the proposed rule on the Nationwide Health Information Network governance may also be published within the same time frame, and that the Tiger Team may need to work on that issue, as well.

Members of the public are welcome to attend Tiger Team meetings. They also are entitled to comment and make recommendations on these proposed rules.

To learn more:
- here's audio of the March 19 meeting
- check out this Healthcare Info Security article
- read more about the certification standards (.pdf)
- read more about the Stage 2 requirements