Farzad Mostashari, MD, ScM, will step down as the leader of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) this fall, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.
Mostashari, who confirmed the unexpected news via his Twitter account today, did not give a reason for his resignation.
"During his tenure, ONC has been at the forefront of designing and implementing a number of initiatives to promote the adoption of health IT among health care providers," wrote Health and Human Services' Secretary Kathleen Sebelius in a statement to staff. "Farzad has seen through the successful design and implementation of ONC’s HITECH programs, which provide health IT training and guidance to communities and providers; linked the meaningful use of electronic health records to population health goals; and laid a strong foundation for increasing the interoperability of health records—all while ensuring the ultimate focus remains on patients and their families. This critical work has not only brought about important improvements in the business of health care, but also has helped providers better coordinate care, which can improve patients’ health while saving money at the same time."
Speculations are already circulating about his eventual replacement; early names include Principal Deputy National Coordinator David Muntz, MBA and Deputy National Coordinator for Programs and Policy Judy Murphy, RN.