There is established within the Department of Health and Human Services an Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (referred to in this section as the “Office”). The Office shall be headed by a National Coordinator who shall be appointed by the Secretary and shall report directly to the Secretary.
The National Coordinator shall coordinate health information technology policy and programs of the Department with those of other relevant executive branch agencies with a goal of avoiding duplication of efforts and of helping to ensure that each agency undertakes health information technology activities primarily within the areas of its greatest expertise and technical capability and in a manner towards a coordinated national goal.
The strategic plan shall be updated through collaboration of public and private entities.
The National Coordinator shall republish the strategic plan, including all updates.
The National Coordinator, in consultation with the Director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, shall keep or recognize a program or programs for the voluntary certification of health information technology as being in compliance with applicable certification criteria adopted under this part. Such program shall include, as appropriate, testing of the technology in accordance with section 17911(b) of this title.
The National Coordinator shall encourage, keep, or recognize, through existing authorities, the voluntary certification of health information technology under the program developed under subparagraph (A) for use in medical specialties and sites of service for which no such technology is available or where more technological advancement or integration is needed.
Not later than 18 months after December 13, 2016, the Secretary, in consultation with relevant stakeholders, shall make recommendations for the voluntary certification of health information technology for use by pediatric health providers to support the health care of children. Not later than 2 years after December 13, 2016, the Secretary shall adopt certification criteria under section 300jj–14 of this title to support the voluntary certification of health information technology for use by pediatric health providers to support the health care of children.
The Secretary may encourage compliance with the conditions of certification described in subparagraph (D) and take action to discourage noncompliance, as appropriate.
Not later than 12 months after February 17, 2009, the National Coordinator shall submit to the appropriate committees of jurisdiction of the House of Representatives and the Senate a report on any additional funding or authority the Coordinator or the HIT Policy Committee or HIT Standards Committee requires to evaluate and develop standards, implementation specifications, and certification criteria, or to achieve full participation of stakeholders in the adoption of a nationwide health information technology infrastructure that allows for the electronic use and exchange of health information.
The National Coordinator shall prepare a report that identifies lessons learned from major public and private health care systems in their implementation of health information technology, including information on whether the technologies and practices developed by such systems may be applicable to and usable in whole or in part by other health care providers.
The National Coordinator shall assess and publish the impact of health information technology in communities with health disparities and in areas with a high proportion of individuals who are uninsured, underinsured, and medically underserved individuals (including urban and rural areas) and identify practices to increase the adoption of such technology by health care providers in such communities, and the use of health information technology to reduce and better manage chronic diseases.
The National Coordinator may provide financial assistance to consumer advocacy groups and not-for-profit entities that work in the public interest for purposes of defraying the cost to such groups and entities to participate under, whether in whole or in part, the National Technology Transfer Act of 1995 (15 U.S.C. 272 note).
The National Coordinator shall, in collaboration with the National Institute of Standards and Technology and other relevant agencies within the Department of Health and Human Services, for the purpose of ensuring full network-to-network exchange of health information, convene public-private and public-public partnerships to build consensus and develop or support a trusted exchange framework, including a common agreement among health information networks nationally. Such convention may occur at a frequency determined appropriate by the Secretary.
The National Coordinator, in collaboration with the National Institute of Standards and Technology, shall provide technical assistance on how to implement the trusted exchange framework and common agreement under this paragraph.
The National Coordinator, in consultation with the National Institute of Standards and Technology, shall provide for the pilot testing of the trusted exchange framework and common agreement established or supported under this subsection (as authorized under section 17911 of this title). The National Coordinator, in consultation with the National Institute of Standards and Technology, may delegate pilot testing activities under this clause to independent entities with appropriate expertise.
Not later than 1 year after convening stakeholders under subparagraph (A), the National Coordinator shall publish on its public Internet website, and in the Federal register, the trusted exchange framework and common agreement developed or supported under subparagraph (B). Such trusted exchange framework and common agreement shall be published in a manner that protects proprietary and security information, including trade secrets and any other protected intellectual property.
Not later than 2 years after convening stakeholders under subparagraph (A), and annually thereafter, the National Coordinator shall publish on its public Internet website a list of the health information networks that have adopted the common agreement and are capable of trusted exchange pursuant to the common agreement developed or supported under paragraph  (B).
As appropriate, Federal agencies contracting or entering into agreements with health information exchange networks may require that as each such network upgrades health information technology or trust and operational practices, such network may adopt, where available, the trusted exchange framework and common agreement published under subparagraph (C).
Nothing in this paragraph shall be construed to require a health information network to adopt the trusted exchange framework or common agreement.
Notwithstanding clauses (i), (ii), and (iii), Federal agencies may require the adoption of the trusted exchange framework and common agreement published under subparagraph (C) for health information exchanges contracting with or entering into agreements pursuant to subparagraph (E).
Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Office may accept detailed personnel from other Federal agencies without regard to whether the agency described under paragraph (1) is reimbursed.
Not later than 12 months after February 17, 2009, the Secretary shall appoint a Chief Privacy Officer of the Office of the National Coordinator, whose duty it shall be to advise the National Coordinator on privacy, security, and data stewardship of electronic health information and to coordinate with other Federal agencies (and similar privacy officers in such agencies), with State and regional efforts, and with foreign countries with regard to the privacy, security, and data stewardship of electronic individually identifiable health information.