HITECH Act Gives HHS $2 Billion of Discretionary Funds

Posted on February 20, 2009 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

The HITECH Act gives Health and Human Services (HHS) 90 days to develop a plan to allocate $2 Billion of discretionary funds. Talk about a nice infusion of funding for HHS. HHS does have a set of core areas of focus for the money (per an Allscripts presentation on HITECH).

The area of focus that interests me most is the “Regional Health IT Resource Centers.” Seriously, what is a regional health IT resource center? Can any of you imagine a doctor visiting a health IT resource center? I don’t understand how this will work at all.

I have a better idea. Why not take a cool million and give it to me? I’ll create a killer online platform for sharing of health care IT resources where people can share information nationally or within their region. Could be a killer application for sharing information quickly and could be available to every state in the country (and for that matter the world). Unless you think that training health care IT staff is better done without using IT.

Here’s a look at the full list of core areas of focus:

  • Standards requirements due before the end of this year
  • HIE Infastructure, National Health Information Network (NHIN)
  • Regional Health IT Resource Centers
  • Federal grants through AHRQ, HRSA, CMS
  • Grants to the states in 2010
  • Promote advanced EHR