White House Calls for Health IT Task Force

June 24, 2011
The White House is calling for the creation of a government-wide task force to strengthen coordination of health IT efforts among federal agencies

The White House is calling for the creation of a government-wide task force to strengthen coordination of health IT efforts among federal agencies charged with carrying out the administration’s plans for an electronic healthcare system.

The plan, detailed in a memo from Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director Peter Orzsag and Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, will provide a way for agencies with heavy healthcare responsibilities to participate in planning health IT projects as part of the ARRA-HITECH legislation.

David Blumenthal. M.D., the national health IT coordinator, will chair the task force, according to the proposal. The vice chairs would be OMB’s health program associate director, Keith Fontenot, and White House CIO Vivek Kundra and CTO Aneesh Chopra.

In addition, the memo is asking five individuals — Defense Secretary Robert Gates, Veterans Affairs Secretary Gen. Erik Shinseki, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, Social Security Commissioner Michael Astrue and Office of Personnel Management Director John Berry — to choose a senior leader from their agencies to represent them on the task force and to send HHS their choices within five days.

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