While no firm date for Mostashari's last day at ONC was given beyond "the fall," his departure comes at a critical time as HHS grapples with complex issues and grumbling from providers over the implementation of Meaningful Use Stage 2, which goes into effect for hospitals on Oct. 1, and on Jan. 1, 2014 for physicians. The American Hospital Association and the American Medical Association have asked Sebelius to roll back the implementation dates.
Mostashari confirmed via Twitter on Tuesday his intention to leave ONC
Mostashari has resisted calls to roll back the implementation date. He is the lead author in a study published this week in Health Affairs which shows that health information exchanges between hospitals and other providers jumped 41% from 2008 to 2012. The study examined national surveys and found that six in 10 hospitals routinely swapped electronic health information with providers and hospitals beyond their walls in 2012.
"We know that the exchange of health information is integral to the ongoing efforts to transform the nation's health care system and we will continue to see that grow as more hospitals and other providers adopt and use health IT to improve patient health and care," Mostashari said in remarks accompanying the study. "Our new research is crystal clear: health information exchange is happening and it is growing. But we still have a long road ahead toward universal interoperability."
With Mostashari leaving, it's not clear if HHS will reconsider rolling back the implementation dates.