There is established a Health Information Technology Advisory Committee (referred to in this section as the “HIT Advisory Committee”) to recommend to the National Coordinator, consistent with the implementation of the strategic plan described in section 300jj–11(c)(3) of this title, policies, and, for purposes of adoption under section 300jj–14 of this title, standards, implementation specifications, and certification criteria, relating to the implementation of a health information technology infrastructure, nationally and locally, that advances the electronic access, exchange, and use of health information. Such Committee shall serve to unify the roles of, and replace, the HIT Policy Committee and the HIT Standards Committee, as in existence before December 13, 2016.
The HIT Advisory Committee shall recommend to the National Coordinator a policy framework for adoption by the Secretary consistent with the strategic plan under section 300jj–11(c)(3) of this title for advancing the target areas described in this subsection. Such policy framework shall seek to prioritize achieving advancements in the target areas specified in subparagraph (B) of paragraph (2) and may, to the extent consistent with this section, incorporate policy recommendations made by the HIT Policy Committee, as in existence before December 13, 2016.
The HIT Advisory Committee shall propose updates to such recommendations to the policy framework and make new recommendations, as appropriate.
The HIT Advisory Committee shall recommend to the National Coordinator for purposes of adoption under section 300jj–14 of this title, standards, implementation specifications, and certification criteria and an order of priority for the development, harmonization, and recognition of such standards, specifications, and certification criteria. Such recommendations shall include recommended standards, architectures, and software schemes for access to electronic individually identifiable health information across disparate systems including user vetting, authentication, privilege management, and access control.
It is the sense of Congress that the HIT Advisory Committee shall focus its work on the priority areas described in subparagraph (B) before proceeding to other work under subparagraph (C).
The HIT Advisory Committee shall recommend to the National Coordinator standards, implementation specifications, and certification criteria described in subsection (a), which may include standards, implementation specifications, and certification criteria that have been developed, harmonized, or recognized by the HIT Advisory Committee or predecessor committee. The HIT Advisory Committee shall update such recommendations and make new recommendations as appropriate, including in response to a notification sent under section 300jj–14(a)(2)(B) of this title. Such recommendations shall be consistent with the latest recommendations made by the Committee.
The HIT Advisory Committee may recognize harmonized or updated standards from an entity or entities for the purpose of harmonizing or updating standards and implementation specifications in order to achieve uniform and consistent implementation of the standards and implementation specification.
In the development, harmonization, or recognition of standards and implementation specifications, the HIT Advisory Committee for purposes of recommendations under paragraph (2)(B), shall, as appropriate, provide for the testing of such standards and specifications by the National Institute for Standards and Technology under section 17911(a) of this title.
The HIT Advisory Committee shall serve as a forum for the participation of a broad range of stakeholders with specific expertise in policies, including technical expertise, relating to the matters described in paragraphs (1), (2), and (3) to provide input on the development, harmonization, and recognition of standards, implementation specifications, and certification criteria necessary for the development and adoption of health information technology infrastructure nationally and locally that allows for the electronic access, exchange, and use of health information.
Not later than 30 days after the date on which the HIT Advisory Committee first meets, such HIT Advisory Committee shall develop a schedule for the assessment of policy recommendations developed under paragraph (1). The HIT Advisory Committee shall update such schedule annually. The Secretary shall publish such schedule in the Federal Register.
The HIT Advisory Committee shall conduct open public meetings and develop a process to allow for public comment on the schedule described in paragraph (5) and recommendations described in this subsection. Under such process comments shall be submitted in a timely manner after the date of publication of a recommendation under this subsection.
The Secretary shall periodically, based on the reports submitted under this subsection, review the target areas described in subsection (b)(2)(B), and, based on the objectives and benchmarks established under paragraph (1), the Secretary shall determine if significant advancement has been achieved with respect to such an area. Such determination shall be taken into consideration by the HIT Advisory Committee when determining to what extent the Committee makes recommendations for an area other than an area described in subsection (b)(2)(B).
The members of the HIT Advisory Committee shall represent a balance among various sectors of the health care system so that no single sector unduly influences the recommendations of the Committee.
Any member appointed to fill a vacancy in the membership of the HIT Advisory Committee that occurs prior to the expiration of the term for which the member’s predecessor was appointed shall be appointed only for the remainder of that term. A member may serve after the expiration of that member’s term until a successor has been appointed. A vacancy in the HIT Advisory Committee shall be filled in the manner in which the original appointment was made.
The HIT Advisory Committee shall ensure an opportunity for the participation in activities of the Committee of outside advisors, including individuals with expertise in the development of policies and standards for the electronic exchange and use of health information, including in the areas of health information privacy and security.
A majority of the members of the HIT Advisory Committee shall constitute a quorum for purposes of voting, but a lesser number of members may meet and hold hearings.
The National Coordinator shall ensure that the relevant and available recommendations and comments from the National Committee on Vital and Health Statistics are considered in the development of policies.
For the purposes of carrying out this section, the Secretary may provide or ensure that financial assistance is provided by the HIT Advisory Committee to defray in whole or in part any membership fees or dues charged by such Committee to those consumer advocacy groups and not-for-profit entities that work in the public interest as a party of their mission.