HHS health IT office baseline gets a boost while stimulus funds trickle to a halt

The flow of stimulus dollars to the Health and Human Services Department’s health information technology office would end in fiscal 2013, under the president’s budget request of Feb. 13.

At the same time, baseline support for the HHS Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT for advancing health IT exchanges and solutions would receive a small increase.

The health IT national coordinator’s office baseline funding is slated for $66 million under the budget proposal, up from $61 million in the current year.

That amount will pay for “grants, contracts, and cooperative agreements for the development and advancement of interoperable health IT,” the budget appendix states.

At the same time, the national coordinator office’s influx of Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 funding is trickling to a halt, from $157 million in fiscal 2011, to $5 million in the current year, to zero next year, the budget document shows.

The stimulus dollars were being used to encourage doctors and hospitals to adopt electronic health record systems. The coordinator’s office was established under the 2009 stimulus law to coordinate more than $20 billion in such payments.

Under the Recovery Act, the national coordinator and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services anticipate that 80,000 providers will have received payments by Sept. 30, the end of fiscal 2012, according to an article in GovHealthIT.com.

As of January, about 60,000 physicians and hospitals had purchased eligible digital health record systems, while 5,000 had met the “meaningful use” standard of being ready to participate in health information exchange, GovHealthIT.com said.

Overall, HHS’ discretionary budget would remain nearly flat under the president’s proposal, at $76.4 billion, up from $76.2 billion currently.

That represents only about 8 percent of the total outlay of $941 billion for the department. Most of that is for Medicare and Medicaid entitlement and benefit programs.

The Food and Drug Administration’s budget would be hiked to $4.5 billion for food and drug safety programs, up from $3.8 billion currently, while CMS’ budget would be raised by $993 million, in part to support implementation of the Affordable Care Act.

Funding for the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration would be reduced to $3.2 billion, down from $3.3 billion.





Rising Stars

Meet 21 early-career leaders who are doing great things in federal IT.

Featured

  • SEC Chairman Jay Clayton

    SEC owns up to 2016 breach

    A key database of financial information was breached in 2016, possibly in support of insider trading, said the Securities and Exchange Commission.

  • Image from Shutterstock.com

    DOD looks to get aggressive about cloud adoption

    Defense leaders and Congress are looking to encourage more aggressive cloud policies and prod reluctant agencies to embrace experimentation and risk-taking.

  • Shutterstock / Pictofigo

    The next big thing in IT procurement

    Steve Kelman talks to the agencies that have embraced tech demos in their acquisition efforts -- and urges others in government to give it a try.

  • broken lock

    DHS bans Kaspersky from federal systems

    The Department of Homeland Security banned the Russian cybersecurity company Kaspersky Lab’s products from federal agencies in a new binding operational directive.

  • man planning layoffs

    USDA looks to cut CIOs as part of reorg

    The Department of Agriculture is looking to cut down on the number of agency CIOs in the name of efficiency and better communication across mission areas.

  • What's next for agency cyber efforts?

    Ninety days after the Trump administration's executive order, FCW sat down with agency cyber leaders to discuss what’s changing.

Reader comments

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

More from 1105 Public Sector Media Group