Once CCHIT’s first Ambulatory EHR certification program was Federally approved in 2006, every medical setting and specialty clamored for an extension to their domain, keeping us very busy and raising our visibility. I provided testimony at Congressional hearings to report on our progress, and appeared on the list of the “Most Powerful Executives in Health Care”. It was not the low-key respite I had expected from my transfer to the nonprofit sector, and the intense travel (I’d hit the million-mile flyer mark) adversely impacted my health. So I promised my wife Carolyn that I’d retire in 2010.
Under newly-elected President Obama, legislation was drafted offering $30 billion in incentives to healthcare providers adopting EHRs — providing they were certified. CCHIT had a front-row seat to this legislative process, being experts on certification, but with so much money on the table, competition appeared for the work of setting standards and doing the testing. Our mission had been to demonstrate that it could be done, not to compete in a marketplace. I retired as full-time Chair in 2010, though I continued to consult for CCHIT until 2014, when it wrapped up its work and closed its doors.