Deputy Named New ONC Leader

Farzad Mostashari Succeeds David Blumenthal
Deputy Named New ONC Leader
As of Friday, Farzad Mostashari, M.D., is the new head of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. He succeeds David Blumenthal, M.D. who stepped down after two years to return to the faculty at Harvard University.

The new national coordinator for health IT and his team will continue to lead efforts to create rules, regulations and programs to carry out many provisions of the HITECH Act, including the electronic health record incentive program. Many HITECH-related regulations and programs deal with privacy and security issues.

Farzad, who joined ONC in July 2009, had served as deputy national coordinator for programs and policy. Previously, he served at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene as assistant commissioner for the Primary Care Information Project, where he led the adoption of prevention-oriented health information technology by more than 1,500 providers in underserved communities.

Mostashari also formerly led the NYC Center of Excellence in Public Health Informatics and an Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality funded project focused on quality measurement at the point of care. He established the Bureau of Epidemiology Services at the NYC Department of Health, which provides epidemiologic and statistical expertise and data for decision making to the health department.

The physician did his graduate training at the Harvard School of Public Health and Yale Medical School and completed his internal medicine residency at Massachusetts General Hospital. He was one of the lead investigators in the outbreaks of West Nile Virus and anthrax in New York City, and was among the first developers of real-time electronic disease surveillance systems nationwide.

HITECH Projects

In addition to the Medicare and Medicaid EHR incentive program, which could provide as much as $27 billion in payments to hospitals and physicians, ONC has put into place $2 billion worth of other projects, including:
  • 62 regional extension centers providing IT assistance to smaller healthcare organizations;
  • 84 community college programs offering healthcare IT training;
  • 17 Beacon community projects, demonstrating how IT can help address local health needs; and
  • Grants to states to support development of statewide health information exchanges.

About the Author

Howard Anderson

Howard Anderson

Former News Editor, ISMG

Anderson was news editor of Information Security Media Group and founding editor of HealthcareInfoSecurity and DataBreachToday. He has more than 40 years of journalism experience, with a focus on healthcare information technology issues. Before launching HealthcareInfoSecurity, he served as founding editor of Health Data Management magazine, where he worked for 17 years, and he served in leadership roles at several other healthcare magazines and newspapers.

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