The board of directors from both the HIMSS Foundation and the National eHealth Collaborative have approved a merger of the two organizations, effective December 23. NeHC was created five years ago by HHS as an independent, non-profit organization that worked closely with the ONC to encourage effective use of health IT. The original five-year funding agreement from ONC ended in 2013.
The financial incentive to continue along with Meaningful Use may not be strong enough to persuade eligible providers to adopt Stage 2 and 3 functionality, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians, whose Center for HIT director Dr. Jason Mitchel commented, “We saw a 17% drop off of meaningful users that engaged in 2011 but didn’t in 2012. I think it’s going to be more for 2013.”
Diana Manos reviews the 10 year history of the ONC, which, if you include the newly named Karen DeSalvo, MD, has been led by six national coordinators.
Healthcare dominates Wired’s list of Top Scientific Discoveries of 2013, which included: Genome editing, imaging advancements that allow researchers to render the brain transparent, building functioning organs from stem cells, and a variety of implantable electronics designed to improve health.