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Farzad Mostashari Looks Back as He Steps Down

Scott Mace, for HealthLeaders Media, September 24, 2013

The departing National Coordinator for Health IT reflects on the effect of the sequester, says meaningful use Stage 2 is a done deal, and lauds the free market for EHRs.

Last week I held a final conversation with Farzad Mostashari, MD, before his tenure as National Coordinator for Health Information Technology in the federal Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) ends. In two years as the nation's health IT czar, Mostashari has become the face of meaningful use and an advocate for health information exchange. Here is part one of our conversation.


Farzad Mostashari, MD, ONC


Farzad Mostashari, MD, ScM
National Coordinator for Health Information Technology

HealthLeaders: Everybody says you're a hard act to follow. Is there any news on that front?

Mostashari: National search…as has been said, we've had the right national coordinator for the right time, and I have a lot of faith in that.

HealthLeaders: What do you think has been your greatest achievement during your time as the head of ONC?


See Also: Q&A: Mostashari Reflects as He Prepares to Exit ONC


Mostashari: I guess I would defer a little bit the idea that there's really any individual achievement in this whole thing, because the national coordinator doesn't do anything by themselves. It's 170 people here, and it's tens of thousands of people in the community to whom any achievements really belong. For myself, I think one thing I did, just from my perspective coming into this, was to focus on the outcomes in terms of population health. I think I brought a little more of an appreciation of that to the community, and also thinking about what we're going to need to do around chronic disease management and prevention for populations.

Then the other thing that maybe was a little surprise to myself was the pivot that we did to expand what we focus on to include consumer e-health and personally controlled health records. Those are two things that I may have nudged the direction a little bit more than where we were already going.

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1 comments on "Farzad Mostashari Looks Back as He Steps Down"


Frank Poggio (9/24/2013 at 2:56 PM)
Re: "What I do know is that two-thirds of the market has already certified for Stage 2, by which I mean if you look at the market share, those vendors that account for two-thirds of the existing attestations have already certified, and there are more in the pipeline..." Boy this shows his lack of understanding of the real market. If it's a simple vendor count then maybe its 2/3, but what he has not factored in is many vendors sell and supports different packages (like McKesson sells Paragon, Star, Horizon, etc) and only one of those packages is certified. Meditech another large vendor supports at leadt two, if not three versions of its software. If you consider products (as opposed to vendors) I bet it's way below 30%. He might respond that if you are running an older product ...just upgrade. Hey- that's only $10mill and a years worth of work.