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WEDI Announces Election of New 2017–2018 Board Chair and Chair-Elect

The Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange (WEDI), a nonprofit authority on the use of HIT to create efficiencies in health care information exchange (HIE), announced the election of Laurie Darst as chair and Jay Eisenstock as chair-elect of the board of directors. In the role as the 2017 chair, Darst, revenue cycle regulatory advisor with the Mayo Clinic, will help lead the multistakeholder board as the organization moves forward in its efforts to promote the use of HIT to improve HIE—enhancing quality of care, improving efficiency, and reducing costs.

"WEDI's broad and diverse membership, comprised of providers, payers, vendors, standards organizations and state and federal government, has a long history of leveraging consensus-building and collaboration to identify solutions to the challenges facing our industry," Darst states. "In this year of turmoil and change to the nation's health care system, as a named advisor to the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services in the HIPAA legislation, WEDI is uniquely positioned to have a significant impact on critical data exchange issues."

Eisenstock, senior director of provider eSolutions for Aetna and the WEDI board chair-elect for 2018 adds: "Health care will continue to be a dominant topic now that the new administration has come into power. WEDI, as the respected voice of all stakeholders participating in health care information exchange, will be actively engaged in the discussion."

Darst is a regulatory advisor for the department of finance at the Mayo Clinic. For the past fifteen years, she has served as a consultant to Mayo Clinic's three large group practices in Rochester, Minnesota; Scottsdale, Arizona; and Jacksonville, Florida, and to the Mayo Clinic Health System sites which encompass 72 communities in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Iowa. Her primary focus includes HIPAA compliance for electronic transactions, regulatory administrative simplification mandates, other administrative simplification opportunities, and industry trends impacting Mayo's revenue cycle and EDI activities. 

Darst actively participates in a number of national standard setting organizations including ASC X12N, National Uniform Claim Committee, National Uniform Billing Committee, and Health Level Seven Attachment Special Interest Group. In addition to her current role as chair of the WEDI board of directors, Darst cochaired a number of WEDI oversight committees and WEDI initiatives, including serving as cochair of WEDI's ICD-10, Health Plan ID, and ACO/Bundled Payment Workgroups. She also served as vice chair of programs and services. Darst has received numerous awards in recognition of her service, including WEDI's Distinguished Service Awards, WEDI Chairman's Awards, Outstanding Co-Chair Award, and the prestigious Andrew Melczer Volunteer of the Year Award in 2009.

Eisenstock is a seasoned professional with more than 30 years of management and technology consulting experience. He currently heads the Provider eSolutions Organization at Aetna where his responsibilities include supporting the full spectrum of electronic interactions between Aetna and the provider community. In previous roles at Aetna, Eisenstock led the company's efforts to achieve HIPAA compliance for electronic transactions.

He is a respected industry leader currently serving as a member of The U.S. Healthcare Efficiency Index advisory council, a commissioner for the Electronic Healthcare Network Accreditation Commission , and cochairs the Testing Sub-Group for The Council for Affordable Quality Healthcare Committee on Operating Rules for Information Exchange.

Eisenstock served as a director for WEDI in 2005 and then from 2012 to the present. While a director, he was elected to two terms as vice chair of administration and operations. He has been honored with several industry accolades including the WEDI Leadership in Technology award in 2007.

Source: Workgroup for Electronic Data Interchange