House Speaker Paul Ryan has named Patrick Soon-Shiong, a controversial billionaire scientist, to a committee that will advise the Trump administration on policy around health information technology, a Ryan spokeswoman said this evening.
Soon-Shiong, a Los Angeles surgeon who leads a network of for-profit and not-for-profit ventures conducting cancer research, has been the subject of news stories, including by POLITICO and STAT, that have raised questions about potential conflicts of interest.
A POLITICO investigation found that the majority of the expenditures of his nonprofit research organization, for instance, flow to businesses and not-for-profits controlled by Soon-Shiong himself, and the majority of its grants have gone to entities that have business deals with his for-profit firms.
Soon-Shiong joins a 25-member Health IT Advisory Committee that was authorized by the 21st Century Cures Act, signed into law by former President Barack Obama in December. The legislation gives congressional leadership the power to name eight of the members.
Earlier in the day, it was reported that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell named Steve Ready, CIO of Louisville, Ky., health system Norton Healthcare, to the committee, and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi chose Steven Lane, an informatics executive with Sutter Health in the San Francisco Bay Area.