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Kolodner on ONC

I just ran into Dr. Robert Kolodner at the HIMSS conference. As you know, Kolodner was the second national coordinator for health IT, serving from 2006 to 2009. While he doesn’t have any insight on who might be the next head of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology—or if he does, he’s not sharing—he did put the decision into perspective.

The first coordinator, Dr. David Brailer, was kind of the entrepreneur, starting up the office with little money and no statutory authority, just what President George W. Bush delegated to him in an executive order. Kolodner was the one who “made it real” in terms of hiring permanent staff and setting up programs to assure the long-term viability of the office. The current coordinator, Dr. David Blumenthal, who will leave in April, is the policy guy, leader of efforts to implement the health IT provisions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

The question Kolodner has for the Obama administration is: What qualities should the next coordinator have? Do we need another policy specialist or a hands-on implementation leader?

February 22, 2011 I Written By

I'm a freelance healthcare journalist, specializing in health IT, mobile health, healthcare quality, hospital/physician practice management and healthcare finance.

Podcast: HIMSS CEO Steve Lieber

The 2011 HIMSS conference gets underway this weekend in Orlando, Fla. For the fifth year in a row, I interviewed HIMSS President and CEO H. Steven Lieber to preview the annual conference. Check Health Data Management’s HIMSS microsite now and MobiHealthNews next week for write-ups of parts of this interview, but this is the only place you can hear the whole thing.

The audio is pretty clear, but you may hear faint music in the background. The recorder seems to have picked up some radio interference. That’s not entirely unexpected in a downtown Chicago office building, namely HIMSS headquarters at 230 E. Ohio St. Ah, well. Enjoy the podcast, and I’ll see you in Orlando.

Podcast details: Interview with HIMSS CEO Steve Lieber. MP3, stereo, 128 kbps, 30.6 MB. Running time 33:26

0:30 Attendance “well in excess of 30,000″
1:00 Increasing interest in health IT because of meaningful use
1:35 ICD-10 and 5010 somewhat “sidelined” but still important
2:40 The march toward meaningful use
3:00 25 percent of membership already at Stage 1 meaningful use
4:20 “Uncertainty” about future stages replacing confusion about what Stage 1 meaningful use is
5:15 Questions about whether early Stage 1 attestation shortens the timeline for Stage 2
6:00 Efforts by some new members of Congress to repeal or cut funding to HITECH
7:30 Questions about meaningful use he hears from HIMSS members
8:40 Balancing meaningful use with 5010 and ICD-10 compliance efforts
12:00 Incentives from private payers
12:40 Quality vs. cost savings
14:00 Public perception of healthcare reform
16:10 PPACA hasn’t had time to make an impact yet
16:55 Expectations for David Blumenthal’s HIMSS keynote and politicization of health IT
19:10 Speculation about next national coordinator?
21:25 New, parallel HIT X.0 conference-within-a-conference
24:30 Mobile and wireless technology at HIMSS and in healthcare
27:10 Hype cycle in mobile apps
28:10 Home care and telehealth reimbursement
30:00 Technology and ACOs
31:00 Berwick speaking at HIMSS this year after several previous attempts to get him

February 18, 2011 I Written By

I'm a freelance healthcare journalist, specializing in health IT, mobile health, healthcare quality, hospital/physician practice management and healthcare finance.