Micky Tripathi, Ph.D., a recognized name in the health tech world, has been tapped as the new national coordinator for health IT under President Joe Biden's administration.
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) posted leadership changes on its website Wednesday but has yet to issue a press release.
Tripathi will replace the outgoing Don Rucker, M.D., who held the position since April 2017. The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) provides counsel for the development and implementation of a national health information technology framework.
Tripathi could not be reached for comment Wednesday.
Health IT executives welcomed the news of Tripathi's appointment on social media.
Farzad Mostashari, M.D., who served as national coordinator from 2009 to 2011 and is the founder of healthcare company Aledade, tweeted Wednesday: "Huge congratulations to my friend Micky Tripathi on being named President Biden's National Coordinator for Health Information Technology! A fantastic pick who understands technology, policy, and real-world practice workflows, and has credibility with all."
Paul Wilder, executive director of the CommonWell Health Alliance, also tweeted, "Congrats Micky! Awesome to have a strong advocate of interop and a long-standing friend at the ONC."
Rucker also tweeted his congratulations to the new National Coordinator: "Your rich experiences in HIT will be invaluable as you start your journey to advance U.S. and global healthcare with actionable computing. My very best wishes."
Tripathi acknowledged his new position on Twitter Thursday and replied that the country owes Rucker a "debt of gratitude for so many ground-breaking contributions leading ONC."
"And I personally thank you for assisting my transition with such generosity of spirit and sage advice. You've left us very well-prepared for the work ahead," he tweeted.
The country owes @donrucker a debt of gratitude for so many ground-breaking contributions leading @ONC_HealthIT. And I personally thank you for assisting my transition with such generosity of spirit and sage advice. You've left us very well-prepared for the work ahead!— Micky Tripathi (@mickytripathi1) January 21, 2021
An expert on interoperability, privacy, and technology standards, Tripathi most recently served as chief strategy officer at Arcadia, a population health management solutions company. Before joining Arcadia, Micky had been president and CEO of the Massachusetts eHealth Collaborative (MAeHC), a nonprofit health IT advisory and clinical data analytics company. MAeHC was formed in 2005 and played a significant leadership role in advising and leading various interoperability and standards activities, including HL7 and FHIR.
In April, Arcadia acquired certain assets of MAeHC, and Tripathi joined the Arcadia leadership team.
Tripathi also serves on the boards of directors of the Sequoia Project, the CommonWell Health Alliance, the CARIN Alliance, HL7 International, the HL7 FHIR Foundation and Datica. He is also the project manager of the Argonaut Project, an industry collaboration to accelerate the adoption of FHIR; an executive adviser for investment firm LRV Health; and an affiliate at the Berkman-Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University.
As the head of ONC, Tripathi's key priorities will be strengthening health data sharing as the nation continues to combat the COVID-19 pandemic and implementing new interoperability regulations.
In March 2020, the Trump administration released widely anticipated rules that will change how providers, insurers and patients exchange health data. Specifically, the regulations will allow patients to access and download their health records with third-party apps.
The compliance deadlines for healthcare information blocking and interoperability policies have been extended due to the pandemic. Providers won't be required to come into compliance with the information blocking requirements until April 5. Compliance for conditions and maintenance of certification requirements related to application programming interfaces (APIs) will also go into effect in April.
New standardized API functionality won't be required until December 2022.