Former eHealth chief leads project at
LOS ANGELES, Calif.
– Sarah Kramer (pictured), formerly CEO of eHealth
Ontario, is currently working in the healthcare IT sector in California. According
to media reports, Kramer is executive director of a team bringing
electronic health records to UCLA Health System’s patients in four
hospitals and clinics with 2,000 doctors. She is working as a
consultant, and is not on staff.
In 2009, Kramer was embroiled in a politically damaging scandal at
eHealth Ontario and resigned from her position. She was criticized for
hiring consulting agencies at high prices without putting the contracts
out for tender; she also came under fire for her $317,000 severance
Kramer had been hired a few months before the eHealth Ontario brouhaha
in a bid to speed up the implementation of health record systems in the
province. Her plans showed great promise, but she set off a public storm
of controversy due to her methods.
The University of California at Los Angeles has touted her as part of
“an exceptional team of experts” working on their CareConnect program.
The goal is to have electronic health records for patients by mid-2013.
When Kramer left eHealth as chief executive in the summer of 2009, her
golden parachute fuelled outrage from opposition parties and the public.
It was later revealed Kramer gave a speech that cost $25,000 to write
and that eHealth gave out $16 million in contracts without competitive
bidding in efforts to get electronic health records in place as quickly
But a furor over the spending prompted Premier Dalton McGuinty to crack
down on rules for tendering of contracts and expenses by consultants,
some of whom were paid up to $3,000 a day and also charged tea and
chocolate chip cookies expenses to taxpayers.
Kramer did not reply to an email from the Toronto Star seeking comment
about her new job.
The CareConnect website notes that: “Kramer has an extensive
background in health system information and performance improvement
across government, non-profit and private sectors in Canada, the United
States, Asia and Africa.”
Electronic health records will allow the health system to “deliver leading-edge patient
care...and to remain
prominent in the markets we serve,” the website publication said.
The CareConnect program is using technology from Verona, Wis.-based
Epic, but the actual implementation will be tailored to UCLA’s needs,
according to a statement by Michael Steinberg, MD, chair of the
executive oversight board, on the CareConnect website. The rollout will
start with scheduling, registration, billing and ambulatory clinicals
followed by inpatient clinicals.
“The CareConnect program is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to work
together as an organization to really change how we deliver healthcare,”
said Patricia Kapur, MD, co-chair of the Faculty Practice Group and
chair of the Department of Anesthesiology. “It puts UCLA in an excellent
position for examining and enhancing processes that support the overall
Posted March 10, 2011