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Blumenthal Resigns ONC Post

February 3, 2011 News 12 Comments

2-3-2011 5-53-42 PM

David Blumenthal, MD MPP has resigned his position as National Coordinator for Health Information Technology for the Department of Health and Human Services. He will leave office sometime in the spring to return to Harvard University.

Prior to his March 2009 appointment, Blumenthal was a practicing physician and Director of the Institute for Health Policy at Massachusetts General Hospital / Partners HealthCare System in Boston. He was also a professor of medicine and health care policy at Harvard Medical School.

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Currently there are "12 comments" on this Article:

  1. My question is, did he undertake this position knowing it would only last for so long? What’s the backup plan? It seems like healthcare (HIT included, of course) in this country is in need of strong direction now more than ever, especially as healthcare reform is coming under Republican fire.

  2. Re HIT Socialite

    It seems like healthcare (HIT included, of course) in this country is in need of strong direction now more than ever, especially as healthcare reform is coming under Republican fire.

    “Strong direction?”

    That sounds a bit totalitarian.

  3. David Blumenthal’s departure may be a result of his brother, Dick Blumenrhal, becoming the new Democratic Senator from CT. David would have faced criticism from Republicans when it comes to healthcare issues since his brother is in a position of influence with other new Senators in Congress.

  4. So who will declare CCHIT the “Permament Certification” body this year? We were hoping he would take the 5-minute CCHIT tour.

    Let’s take a roll call:
    Scott Wallace, CEO of NAHIT
    Linda Kloss, CEO of AHIMA
    Mark Leavitt, Chair if CCHIT
    David Blumenthal, ONC/ HHS
    Harry Stepheb Lieber, CEO HIMSS & Founder CCHIT and EHRA

    The only person left standing, who was involved with the creation and funding of CCHIT, is Harry. And he is off to Saudi Arabia in May to spend more taxpayer money.

  5. David Blumenthal’s leadership was outstanding. I wish he wasn’t leaving.

    It will be very hard to find a replacement with his leadeship skills.

  6. MU? It is not technology or features, but MARKETING that will decide the main player in EMR adoption. Enter, Verizon and Comcast.
    KISS-Keep it simple, stupid. Your taxes hard at work. Enjoy HIMSS and the brain trust gathering. Again.

  7. This is quite straightforward and all could/should have expected this. He’s a Harvard Full Professor on leave. Harvard allows a two year leave and then it’s come back or move on–no extensions.

    Has he had a tough job and taken his share of beatings? Yes, of course. Still, he’s going back to academic leadership roles at Harvard which has been his life. As a former academic, this choice makes sense to me.

  8. John Moore, Please don’t predict John Halamka or Karen Bell will take over Blumenthal’s position. Or worse yet, David Brailer will lobby for his old position or have HIMSS BOD fill that spot, such as Harvard alum Jonathon Teich MD.

  9. Steven & Jared both have it right in large measure: Blumenthal is leaving to preserve tenure at Harvard.

    But something else is also at work: Blumenthal has set the overall direction/vision for ONC and ONC’s job going forward will be much more tactical in nature.

    Therefore Peter, I do not foresee Halamka or Brailer taking the reigns, Bell might, though I think see tired of the commute back and forth to DC when she was previously at ONC. What is really needed, and sorely lacking at ONC is someone with superior operational expertise, someone that just knows how to get things done.

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