With HITECH Act funding expiring, a reorganization of the Office of the National Coordinator for HIT is underway. But how streamlined the agency will get is not yet clear.
In a May 30 memo to ONC staff, National Coordinator Karen DeSalvo said the realignment is an opportunity to make the 10-year-old agency as efficient and effective as possible. Now as we pivot to a new decade, these few strategic, organizational changes allow us to better align the agency to meet the needs of the future, she wrote. This functional realignment will improve the overall effectiveness and efficiency of ONC by combining similar functions, elevating critical priority functions, and providing a flatter and more accountable reporting structure.
The reorganization also will support core priorities that include interoperability, care transformation, using data to further consumer engagement, care safety, public health improvements and advancements in science, she added. While the reorganization reduces the number of offices (major departments) within ONC, many office leaders will oversee a very similar office after the changes are finalized.
Under the reorganization, the Immediate Office of the National Coordinator will include DeSalvo and Deputy National Coordinator Jacob Reider, M.D. Reporting to them will be:
* Kelly Cronin, former Health Reform Coordinator and now head of the Office of Care Transformation;
* Joy Pritts, former Chief Privacy Officer and now head of the Office of the Chief Privacy Officer;
* Lisa Lewis, former Deputy National Coordinator for Operations and now head of the Office of the Chief Operating Officer;
* Doug Fridsma, M.D., former Chief Science Officer and Director of the Office of Science and Technology, and now head of the Office of the Chief Scientist;
* Judy Murphy, R.N., former Deputy National Coordinator for Programs and Policy and now head of the Office of Clinical Quality and Safety;
* Seth Pazinski, former Division Director of Planning and Operations at the Department of Health and Human Services and previously a Special Assistant at ONC, and now head of the Office of Planning, Evaluation and Analysis;
* Jodi Daniel, former Director of the Office of Policy and Planning and now head of the Office of Policy;
* Kimberly Lynch, former Director of the Office of Provider Adoption Support and now head of the Office of Programs;
* Nora Super, continuing as head of the Office of Public Affairs and Communications; and
* Steven Posnack, former Director of Federal Policy Division in the Office of Policy and Planning and now head of the Office of Standards and Technology.
The future status of several other senior ONC members who have led offices could not be immediately determined. They include Amy Helwig, M.D., who has served as Acting Chief Medical Officer; Lygeia Ricciardi, who has served as Director of the Office of Consumer eHealth; Lee Stevens, Acting Director of the Office of Certification; and Claudia Williams, Director of the State Health Information Exchange Program and a Senior Advisor in the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.
Michael Furukawa, who has served as Director of the Office of Economic Analysis, Evaluation and Modeling, recently accepted a new position at the Agency for Healthcare Quality and Research, a move in the works for some time before the reorganization, according to a spokesperson.
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