Health IT Roundup—Former ATA head forms AI group; Shulkin is back in Trump’s crosshairs

David Shulkin
VA Secretary David Shulkin, M.D., is back in Trump's crosshairs. His dismissal raises questions about a pending contract with Cerner. (

Former ATA CEO launches healthcare AI advocacy group

Jonathan Linkous, who served as the CEO of the American Telemedicine Association for more than two decades, has launched a new initiative for artificial intelligence in healthcare.

Along with medical book publisher Mary Ann Liebert, Linkous has co-founded the Partnership for Artificial Intelligence and Automation in Healthcare (PATH). According to his bio, he plans to "do for AI in healthcare what was achieved for telemedicine." Broadly, the membership-based group plans to look at issues around policy oversight and safety along with approaches to integration. (Announcement)

Trump could fire Shulkin this week

Multiple media outlets are reporting that President Donald Trump could fire Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin, M.D., this week, with one White House official indicating the odds are “50-50” that he’s fired with the next couple days.

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Shulkin, who has been scrutinized for the last several weeks, has led an effort to switch the VA health system to a Cerner-based EHR. His dismissal could put that contract in jeopardy. (FierceHealthcare)

HIMSS backs VA rule to improve data exchange

In a letter to Shulkin earlier this month, HIMSS backed a proposed rule issued in January to improve data sharing between the VA and community providers.

HIMSS expressed support for the rule that would allow VA hospitals to release medical records to a Health Information Exchange community partner as well as two new criteria that would require community partners to provide written patient consent to records sharing and the VA can obtain that consent within 10 days. (Letter)

AMIA urges HHS to proceed with Common Rule implementation

After changes to the Federal Policy for the Protection of Human Subjects, also known as the Common Rule, were delayed six months by HHS, the American Medical Informatics Association is calling on the agency to move forward with the current timeline that starts with a July 19 effective date.

That timeline would move forward with a Jan. 19 compliance date and “signal to stakeholders this administration’s intention to proceed in a timely fashion with implementation of the 2018 Requirements.” The rule would provide the opportunity for secondary research of EHR by providing exemptions to certain low-risk studies. (Letter)

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