Bradley Merrill Thompson, a Member of the Firm in the Health Care and Life Sciences practice, in the Washington, DC, office, was quoted in an article titled "ONC Announces Realignment."

Following is an excerpt:

Facing the coming exhaustion of its funding from the 2009 economic stimulus law, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT announced the agency's "next functional realignment" in an internal memo.

The memo, written by new agency head Karen DeSalvo, emphasizes that a "flatter and more accountable reporting structure" is necessary to confront new challenges such as interoperability, care transformation, use of health data by consumers, and quality and safety of care.

To accomplish this, the agency is collapsing 17 offices and suboffices into 10. The new structure is described in a notice posted Friday on the federal website where documents appear before publication in the Federal Register. …

Bradley Merrill Thompson, an expert in IT regulation with the law firm Epstein Becker Green, said the reorganization "seems like a natural part of the maturing process," and called the new structure more logical.

"At the same time, as they pivot I'm not entirely sure I understand their mission," Thompson added. "Much of what they do overlaps in some respects with other agencies. I'm more interested in understanding better what their role will be in the future."


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