Mostashari launches data access campaign

'We the people want easy, electronic access to our health information'
By Bernie Monegain
09:00 AM
Keyboard and flash drive

Former National Coordinator for Health IT Farzad Mostashari, MD, has launched a national campaign around patient access to healthcare data with characteristic clarity and flair.

"We the people want easy, electronic access to our health information," reads the opening statement on, the website he set up to collect signatures.

Why? "Because demonstrating consumer demand is the best way to show lawmakers, hospitals, doctors, insurance companies, labs, pharmacies, and other decision makers that people care about electronic access to their health information," he explains.

He's not alone in the effort to put the spotlight on this issue. There is a roster of Individuals and organizations listed on the site. Among them: former U.S. Chief Technology Officer Aneesh Chopra; Lygeia Ricciardi, former director of the Office of Consumer eHealth at ONC; and Chair, Consumer Workgroup, Health IT Policy Committee.

Earlier this week at Health Datapalooza in Washington, Mostashari announced plans for Data Independence Day on July 4. Perhaps because Health Datapalooza is a venue where flair is expected, even encouraged, Mostashari reportedly grabbed an umbrella and led a procession of attendees into the hotel lobby to pledge their support for the initiative.

The campaign didn't come out of the blue. The seed was likely planted this past past April if not before.

CMS published on April 10 a proposed rule, which, among other changes to Stage 2 meaningful use, would relax the 5 percent view-download and transmit requirement – instead requiring that just a single patient access his or her data, as a show that it can be done. Many providers had expressed concern about a mandate that left them relying on others – the patients – to accomplish.

[See also: Proposed patient access change sparks MU debate.]

In response to the CMS release of the proposed change, Mostashari's tweeted: "I support patients rights to get their own health records - electronic, affordable, NOW."

Mostashari is CEO of Aledade, a startup he founded after leaving ONC to support physician-led accountable care organizations.

[See also: Former ONC chief launches startup.]