Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Bush's Budget for Regional Health IT

Bush's Budget Includes Health Care IT Funds February 08, 2005
President Bush on Monday announced his fiscal year 2006 budget proposal, which includes $5.3 billion for HHS to spend on information technology, or nearly 2% more than the $5.2 billion for this year, Government Computer News reports. Most of the IT funds would go toward grants for initiatives by regional health organizations and for health information networks. Bush requested $125 million for the adoption of health care IT such as electronic medical records. The Office of the National Coordinator of Health IT would receive $75 million to support electronic prescribing and the development of standards for EMRs. The administration also requested $50 million for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality to provide grants for projects that demonstrate how IT can be used to boost patient safety, Government Computer News reports. The CDC expects to receive $68 million for its Public Health Informatics standards project to facilitate data sharing (Mosquera, Government Computer News, 2/8). The budget also would provide $5.6 billion to the National Science Foundation, which conducts basic technology research, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The funding would help speed the creation of EMRs (Epstein/Coile, San Francisco Chronicle, 2/8). Bush also proposed allocating $4.2 billion for bioterrorism spending within HHS, which is $154 million more than the department plans to spend this year, Government Computer News reports. This would include $244 million for the FDA for biological, chemical, food and radiological surveillance efforts and for the Food Emergency Response Network and Emergency Response and Operations Network. It also would provide $70 million for the Health Resources and Services Administration's program to monitor state and local hospital capacity for medical care following an attack involving weapons of mass destruction (Government Computer News, 2/8).

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