Falls Church, VA, September 7, 2006 – The Accredited Standards Committee (ASC) X12 (www.X12.org), a cross-industry data exchange standards body, is pleased to announce that John D. Halamka, MD, MS, Chair of the Health Information Technology Standards Panel (HITSP), will present a session called "Standards Harmonization: First Work Products," highlighting key process and initial output of the HITSP initiative. This session will take place on Sept. 27, from 8:00 a.m. - 9:15 a.m. at The Westin Boston Waterfront Hotel in Boston. As this session is a part of ASC X12’s Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) Information Forum, there will be a follow-on legislative update provided by standards expert and ASC X12 representative to the HITSP Panel Mr. Don Bechtel of Siemens Medical Solutions.

“We are so pleased to have these distinguished individuals well-versed in data exchange standards and technologies presenting at ASC X12 at a time when the values of cooperation and collaboration are essential to the success of standards harmonization,” said ASC X12 Insurance Subcommittee Chair Alexandra Goss, who also serves as ASC X12 alternate to the HITSP Panel. “The ASC X12 HIPAA Information Forum will provide attendees with a richer understanding of complementary standards initiatives that will impact their standards development, enterprise implementation and industry interaction.”

As Chair of HITSP, Dr. Halamka coordinates electronic standards harmonization among numerous stakeholders nationwide. Dr. Halamka also holds several prestigious positions, including Chief Information Officer of CareGroup Health System; Chief Information Officer and Associate Dean for Educational Technology at Harvard Medical School; Chairman of the New England Health Electronic Data Interchange Network (NEHEN); Acting CEO of MA-Share; Chief Information Officer of the Harvard Clinical Research Institute; and a practicing emergency physician.

Following Dr. Halamka’s presentation, Mr. Bechtel will provide a HIPAA legislative update addressing the status of the House and Senate bills on health information technology and their potential impact on enhanced HIPAA transactions and code set standards. Mr. Bechtel is Standards and Regulatory Manager for Siemens Medical Solutions, and the Privacy and Compliance Officer for Healthcare Data Exchange. In addition to representing ASC X12 on the HITSP Panel, he was also elected to the HITSP Board, and serves as co-chair of the ASC X12 Healthcare Task Group. Mr. Bechtel holds several leadership positions in the Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange (WEDI), and is a member of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS)/Association for Electronic Health Care Transactions (AFEHCT) Advisory Council.

ASC X12 members meet face-to-face three times per year to design standards and exchange industry expertise, with the next meeting taking place September 24-29, 2006 in Boston. Additional information on ASC X12, membership and upcoming meetings can be found on its web site at www.X12.org.

About ASC X12

The Accredited Standards Committee (ASC) X12, founded in 1979 and accredited by the American National Standards Institute, develops cross-industry electronic data exchange standards that interact with a multitude of e-business technologies and serve as premier tools for integrating electronic applications. With more than 2,500 individuals representing 360+ corporate members, ASC X12 facilitates the effective exchange of electronic information through standards-setting and active participation in emerging and technically relevant initiatives. To learn more about ASC X12, visit www.X12.org or call 703-970-4480.