By Mary Mosquera
The Health and Human Services Department has named Todd Park, co-founder and a current board director of Athenahealth, to be chief technology officer.
Park currently is a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress on issues of health information technology and healthcare reform. He co-founded Athenahealth, which provides Web-based physician practice management and health IT services, in 1997 with Jonathan Bush, the current chairman and chief executive officer. Park will resign from the Athenahealth board effective Aug. 10, according to a company statement today.
As CTO, Park, who will report to William Corr, HHS deputy secretary, will collaborate with HHS leadership and agencies on innovative uses of information and technology to improve healthcare. He starts his new position Aug. 26.
In recent presentations, Park has emphasized the link between healthcare reform and the health IT provisions in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. He supports the use of specific health outcomes as measures for the meaningful use of health IT.
The national health IT coordinator, Dr. David Blumenthal, and public/private advisory committees have recommended criteria that hospitals and physicians must demonstrate to be considered meaningful users of health IT and to be eligible for increased Medicare and Medicaid payments under the stimulus law.
"There's an incredible amount of energy in the private sector that wants to make health care better," Park said at a recent conference co-sponsored by the Center for American Progress. "But the private sector needs guidance in order to ascertain what exactly we're trying to do, what is policy trying to accomplish, where should innovation head, what are we trying to do as a country."
Prior to Athenahealth, Park was a healthcare management consultant with Booz Allen and Hamilton. He received his bachelor's degree from Harvard College.