ONC Chief Farzad Mostashari To Step Down - InformationWeek

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8/6/2013
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ONC Chief Farzad Mostashari To Step Down

Health and Human Service's national coordinator for health IT who drove widespread EHR adoption will leave the position this fall.

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Farzad Mostashari, the national coordinator for health IT at Health and Human Services, will step down from his position this fall after two years driving Meaningful Use regulations aimed at lowering health costs and providing better care via the electronic health record systems providers have implemented.

Mostashari joined the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) in 2009 as principal deputy national coordinator and took over as national coordinator in 2011. Much of his tenure as national coordinator focused on Meaningful Use standards and the adoption of electronic health records. None of the last three national coordinators spent more than two years at the post.

Mostashari's successor is facing a fragmented industry where sharing data among healthcare providers remains a big challenge, one that health IT leaders say will take a regulatory spark to fix.

Providers also are complaining that they're spending too much time meeting regulatory requirements and not enough time finding creative ways to make better use of EHRs. Mostashari's successor will be expected to transition into Meaningful Use stage 2 requirements for EHRs in 2014 on a timeline that some say is already too aggressive. MU stage 2 criteria include a more rigorous health information exchange and a focus on patient-controlled data.

[ Are federal healthcare regulations too demanding? Read Senate Committee Gets Earful on Health IT Woes. ]

In a letter to ONC staff, Mostashari said he doesn't know what his next move will be.

"There are formidable challenges still ahead for our community, and for ONC," he said. "But none more difficult than what we have already accomplished."

In a letter announcing the move, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius praised Mostashari for having "seen through the successful design and implementation of ONC's HITECH programs, which provide health IT training and guidance to communities and providers; linked the meaningful use of electronic health records to population health goals; and laid a strong foundation for increasing the interoperability of health records."

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jaysimmons
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jaysimmons,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/13/2013 | 9:31:26 PM
re: ONC Chief Farzad Mostashari To Step Down
I honestly do not envy MostashariG«÷s successor. Anyone taking the helm of the ONC at this point in time with Meaningful Use stage 2 around the corner and the growing unrest surrounding healthcare IT is going to have a rough time. That being said, I think that Mostashari has actually done a pretty decent job as head of the ONC as can be seen by the rising number of providers with EHR systems and the growing popularity of the healthcare IT industry.

Jay Simmons
Information Week Contributor
fpoggio600
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fpoggio600,
User Rank: Apprentice
8/7/2013 | 11:15:50 PM
re: ONC Chief Farzad Mostashari To Step Down
As he departs Dr. M is receiving many accolades, some I am sure are deserved, but I canG«÷t help thinking that he is leaving at a personally opportune time. HeG«÷s pumped this HiTech Certification/MU baby up as the next savior of the heathcare system, yet the real proof of that is still years off. Stage 2 is turning out to be a mess both for providers and vendors seeking certification, and the penalties donG«÷t hit for another year and half.
The negatives are just beginning, so a good time to leave would seem to be
right now and leverage that to bigger and better opportunities.

If he cares so much about improving care
coordination, as he vividly describes in his staff memo, why give it only 2
years effort??
Frank Poggio
The Kelzon Group
KelzonGroup.com
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