Tuesday, November 25, 2014

ONC Chief tapped to help

ONC Announces Health IT Challenge 

The ONC launched this week its latest prize challenge to spur innovation and promote real-world use of health information technology.  According to a blog post, nearly $700 million was invested in health technology in the first quarter of 2014 - an 87 percent year-over-year growth. The ONC is looking to support start-ups that are having difficulty connecting with pilot partners to test innovations such as web and mobile applications. To that end, the Market R&D Challenge calls on health innovators to partner with providers, clinics, or hospitals to develop a pilot proposal and run the pilot for 6 months.  The program will select up to six teams to implement the pilot, conduct a rigorous evaluation, and disseminate its findings in collaboration with ONC.   

ONC will award $25,000 when the teams are selected, and another $25,000 following completion of the pilot and evaluation.  The ONC will be holding matchmaking events In January 2015.  Proposals for the challenge are due March 2, 2015 and teams will be selected in April.  For more information, visit www.oncpilotchallenge.com.

Other news about the Office of The National Coordinator for HIT.

The ONC’s COO Lisa Lewis will serve as the agency’s acting national coordinator.

HHS spokesman Peter Ashkenaz told THCB:
“HHS Secretary Burwell asked National Coordinator for Health IT Karen DeSalvo to serve as Acting Assistant Secretary for Health, effective immediately. In this role she will work with the Secretary on pressing public health issues, including becoming a part of the Department’s team responding to Ebola. Dr. DeSalvo has deep roots and a belief in public health and its critical value in assuring the health of everyone, not only in crisis, but every day.
Lisa Lewis, ONC’s chief operating officer, will serve as the Acting National Coordinator. However, Dr. DeSalvo will continue to support the work of ONC while she is at OASH.”
The transition comes at a time when critics are asking tough questions about the government’s Meaningful Use program and providers’ lackluster progress qualifying for Stage 2.
Moving Karen Desalvo to the Ebola crisis places her expertise with the team working on Ebola containment.  A smart move.
Karen DeSalvo, who was appointed acting assistant health secretary Thursday, will continue to hold her current role as director of the Office of National Coordinator for Health Information Technology as she serves in her new role for the Department of Health and Human Services.
ONC released an update on DeSalvo’s new responsibilities Thursday and said she will continue to work on “high level” policy issues for the office and remain as chair of the Health IT Policy Committee.
She will also lead work on the development and finalization of ONC’s Interoperability Roadmap and co-chair HHS’ cross-departmental work on delivery system reform, ONC said.
Lisa Lewis, chief operating officer and acting director of ONC, will oversee the day-to-day operations of the office and served as acting principal deputy national coordinator before DeSalvo joined ONC.
DeSalvo joined HHS to help with the department’s response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.

- See more at: http://www.executivegov.com/2014/10/onc-karen-desalvo-to-retain-natl-health-it-coordinator-role/#sthash.aPUOnCgj.dpuf

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