New position, new face at ONC

Will be the 'lead clinical subject matter expert on interoperability'
By Bernie Monegain
10:12 AM
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Michael James McCoy, MD, ONC's Chief Health Information Officer

Michael James McCoy, MD, will be joining the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT in the newly created position of Chief Health Information Officer.

ONC chief Karen DeSalvo, MD, announced the move in an email to ONC staff.

McCoy, who starts his work on Jan. 26, will report directly to DeSalvo.

"Mike will lead development of ONC clinical policy for standards and regulatory matters to help ensure ONC initiatives improve health beyond health care," DeSalvo wrote in her memo. "He will also be the lead clinical subject matter expert on interoperability."

[See also: Changing of the ONC guard]

McCoy has been board certified obstetrician/gynecologist, practicing for more than 20 years, and has more than 10 years of experience in health information technology, with special interests in interoperability, user experience, and person-centered care, DeSalvo said. His background includes leadership roles in nearly all facets of the health IT domain – from use in small physician offices to large national health delivery systems, IT development and standards development organizations.

He has been involved with standards development for well over a decade, including Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise, or IHE, Patient Care Coordination domain, and the IHE International Board of Directors. He represented the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists as its health information technology strategist in multiple forums; has worked with the Certification Commission for Health Information Technology as co-chair of the Women’s Health Work Group; and participated on the Child Health Expert Panel and the Ambulatory Work Group.

"He is passionate, as am I, on making effective use of interoperable healthcare IT while ensuring a person-centered health system that results in the best outcomes possible," DeSalvo said in a statement.

The news follows a series of top staff exits from the Office of the National Coordinator, including the departure last November of Deputy National Coordinator Jacob Reider, a family physician from Albany, N.Y.

[See also: Reider out at ONC too -- what's next?]

DeSalvo is serving in two positions in government – as ONC chief and also as a member of the emergency response team at the Department of Health and Human Services, working on Ebola response.