As news media reports confirmed Thursday evening, April 10, that Kathleen Sebelius was set to announce her resignation as Secretary of Health and Human Services on Friday morning, April 11, Russell P. Branzell, president and CEO of the Ann Arbor, Mich.-based College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME), spoke exclusively to Healthcare Informatics regarding that development.
“First and foremost, CHIME would like to thank Secretary Sebelius for her service to the nation over these past five years,” Branzell told HCI. “Regardless of whether you agree with someone or not, you want to first thank someone for their service.” As for the potential impact of the Sebelius resignation on the ongoing implementation of the meaningful use process under the HITECH (Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health) Act, Branzell opined that “At first blush, I don’t think that this will hold anything up, because everything’s already in motion, already federally legislated. It would have been nice if she had been able to have any impact on ICD-10, but now with the new delay, it really doesn’t matter. For CHIME,” he added, “the question is, whether there’s any impact with the overall healthcare reform process; but from everything I’ve heard and read over the last few weeks, I don’t see that.” Branzell added that he was scheduled to meet with officials from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) in the coming week. “It will be interesting to see if there’s any effect there,” following this development.”
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