Blumenthal defers judgment on FISMA use

Blumenthal defers judgment on FISMA use
Blumenthal defers judgment on FISMA use

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By Alice Lipowicz
July 24, 2009

The top federal official for health information technology has not taken 
a position on one of the pressing issues that affects nationwide sharing 
of health information =E2=80=94 whether all health systems must comply with the 
Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA).

Dr. David Blumenthal, the national coordinator for health IT, said he 
has not formed an opinion. The FISMA legislation in 2002 established 
information security requirements for federal computer systems. What is 
under discussion is whether health care providers, including doctors' 
offices and hospitals, should comply with FISMA in order to expand their 
information sharing with federal agencies.

Under the economic stimulus law, Congress set aside $350 million to 
assist the national coordinator=E2=80=99s office in establishing health 
information exchange systems. One of the pilot efforts underway is the 
Nationwide Health Information Network.


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