HHS CTO Bruce Greenstein heads back to the private sector

The Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) chief technology officer is leaving for the private sector after a year on the job.

Bruce Greenstein, appointed as HHS CTO last June, has been named LHC Group’s chief innovation and technology officer, the company announced on Tuesday. Based in Louisiana, LHC Group is a national provider of in-home healthcare services with 780 locations across 36 states.

Deputy CTO Ed Simcox will take over day-to-day operations of the office, according to an HHS spokesperson.

Greenstein was appointed as HHS CTO last June, in a stint where he oversaw the agency’s use of data and technology. He was a proponent of private sector collaboration during his tenure, kicking off a “Startup Day” campaign hosted by various cities around the country where new companies could talk with senior officials at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Food and Drug Administration.

“I want to compete with the private sector and get that innovation in HHS,” he told audience members at a Startup Health Event in January.

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He also led the launch of a new accelerator for kidney care innovation called KidneyX, in partnership with the American Society of Nephrology.

In a blog post Greenstein reflected on the work led by the Office of the CTO over the past year, including an "Opioid Code-a-Thon" in December.

"In weighing the decision to leave, I had the comfort of knowing that so much has been accomplished in the Office of the CTO," he wrote. "Over the past year, these initiatives–along with the top-notch technology consulting we provide throughout the Department–worked to usher in a culture that believes data sharing, innovative design, and technology are critical to achieving Secretary Azar’s priorities.

In his new role at LHC Group, Greenstein will focus on integrating technology into in-home care models.

“He will lead our enhanced emphasis on innovation and technology to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of healthcare services,” LHC Group CEO Keith G. Myers said in a statement. “Bruce will also play a key role in the development of value-based models for our core business and additional business lines, as well as new arrangements with our managed care partners.”

Editor's Note: This story has been updated to include comment from HHS.