- HHS Announces New National Coordinator. On Dec. 19, 2013, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced that Karen DeSalvo will be the next national coordinator for health IT. DeSalvo last served as the New Orleans Health Commissioner and a senior health policy adviser to Mayor Mitch Landrieu (D). She takes over the national coordinator post on Jan. 13.
- CMS Proposes To Extend the Meaningful Use Timeline. On Dec. 6, 2013, CMS proposed a new timeline for the implementation of meaningful use under the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record Incentive Programs. Under the revised timeline, Stage 2 will be extended through 2016 and Stage 3 will begin in 2017 for those providers that have completed at least two years in Stage 2. On the same day, ONC proposed to allow for certification criteria to be updated more frequently under the ONC Health IT Certification Program.
Bill Spooner, vice president and chief information officer of Sharp Healthcare in San Diego has had an epiphany or two on his way to digital transformation. There was a time, for instance, when he advocated for best-of-breed systems. But he changed his tune when he realized there were too many interoperability headaches.