Cerner executive among seven new appointees to GAO health IT advisory committee

Hans Buitendijk of Cerner and Rajesh Godavarthi of software and analytics company MCG are among the private sector appointees.
Government Accountability Office, GAO
The GAO flag. (Ron Cogswell / Flickr)

The Government Accountability Office has appointed seven new advisers, including a Cerner executive, to its health information technology advisory committee (HITAC).

Rajesh Godavarthi, associate vice president of technology and interoperability at healthcare software and analytics company MCG, joins the advisory board, along with Hans Buitendijk, who is currently director of interoperability strategy at Cerner.

The other appointees include Steven Eichner, who is health information technology lead at the Texas Department of State Health Services, and Hun S. Luu, who is director of clinical pathology at Texas-based health network Children’s Health and serves as co-chair of the implementation committee for the Food and Drug Administration’s SHIELD initiative.

GAO also appointed Eilel Oliveira from the Dell Medical School of the University of Texas at Austin, Aaron Neinstein from the University of California San Francisco Health, and Fillipe Sutherland of Yardi Systems to the committee.


The new members will each serve for a three-year term, and may be reappointed for a subsequent term.

HITAC was established in December 2016 by the 21st Century Cures Act, and mandates the U.S. comptroller general to appoint at least 14 committee members. In addition, 11 members are appointed by the secretary of Health and Human Services, the majority and minority leaders of the Senate, and the speaker and minority leader of the House of Representatives.

The committee provides recommendations to the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology on policies and standards, as well as implementation criteria.

“Today’s appointees bring impressive qualifications and a range of experiences and perspectives to the HITAC’s work on such issues as the use of technology to promote care coordination, addressing the needs of children and other vulnerable populations, and supporting public health,” said Comptroller General Gene Dodaro, who is also the head of GAO.

Cerner is the core service provider working with the Department of Veterans Affairs on its delayed Electronic Health Records Modernization Program. Earlier this month, cloud technology giant Oracle struck an agreement to acquire the company for $30 billion.

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