CCHIT names trustees, moves toward nonprofit status

By Diana Manos
12:00 AM

CHICAGO – The Certification Commission for Healthcare Information Technology (CCHIT) announced Monday the establishment of a new board of trustees, bringing it one step closer to becoming a fully independent, nonprofit organization.

According to Sue Reber, spokesperson for CCHIT, the new board of trustees won’t change how CCHIT functions. “Little change should be seen immediately,” she said.

Last month, the Department of Health and Human Services deemed CCHIT an officially “Recognized Certification Body,” able to provide inspection and valid certification to electronic health records networks and how they interoperate.

“CCHIT is under a contract with HHS and is required to become a self-sustaining organization with a fiduciary board at the end of its three year HHS funding period,” Reber said. “Establishing a new trustee board is part of that compliance.”

CCHIT’s new trustee board will replace the LLC created by the three founding sponsors: the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA); the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS); and The National Alliance for Health Information Technology (Alliance), Reber said.

Those selected for the board “roughly represent the stakeholder community,” Reber said. Their responsibilities will be mainly to run the organization from a business standpoint. However, “going forward as the organization matures, there is obviously going to be strategic planning this group will be able to help with,” Reber said.

According to Reber, the members of the new board of trustees are:

•    Tom Fritz, CEO, Inland Northwest Health Services

•    Linda Kloss, CEO, American Health Information Management Association

•    H. Stephen Lieber, CEO, Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society

•    John Tooker, MD, executive vice president and CEO, American College of Physicians

•    Frank J. Trembulak, executive vice president and COO, Geisinger Health System

•    Glen Tullman, chairman and CEO, Allscripts

•    Scott Wallace, president and CEO, The National Alliance for Health Information Technology

•    Mark Leavitt MD, CCHIT commission chair

•    Alisa Ray, CCHIT executive director

CCHIT’s board of trustees is not to be confused with its current 21-member board of commissioners, representing a diversity of heath care stakeholders who will continue to guide and approve the work of the voluntary work groups and staff as they develop certification criteria, inspection processes and policy, Reber said.

So far, CCHIT has certified 33 total ambulatory HIT products. The next round of certifications is expected by February 2007.

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