Emerging HIT


HITECH Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health

Included in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act which was signed into law on February 17, 2009 was 19.2 billion to incentivize hospitals and physicians to implement and increase the use of Electronic Health Records (EHR). This section of the stimulus bill (ARRA) is referred to as the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health or the HITECH Act. Title XIII of Division A, pages 112 through 165 and Title IV in Division B pages 353 through 398 outlines the HITECH section of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

To access the HITECH act click here

HITECH provides the following fund allocations:

  • 18 billion payable through Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement systems via incentives for hospitals and physicians who are “meaningful users” of EHR systems.

  • $2 billion to the Office of the National Coordinator for implementation of the necessary infrastructure to allow for, and promote, the electronic exchange and use of health information for each individual in the United States. In addition, updating the Department of Health & Human Services’ technologies for the electronic flow of information; the integration of health IT education into the training programs for healthcare professionals; and the promotion of interoperable clinical data repositories.

  • $1 billion for renovation and repair of health centers and for the acquisition of health IT systems in those centers.

  • $550 million for equipment and services in health IT for Indian Health Service facilities.

  • $400 million for research on how the use of electronic data impacts healthcare treatments and strategies.

  • $300 million for the support of regional and state efforts towards health information exchange.

  • 40 million for the Social Security Administration to use EHRs to submit disability claims

What Else Does HITECH Do?

The HITECH Act also provides for the collaboration, assistance and technical support needed by providers. These provisions will allow for the coordination, alignment and interoperability of HIT systems and information within and across states. HITECH will promote the establishment of connectivity to the public health community and the implementation of programs to ensure workforce readiness. This will be accomplished through the provision of proper training which will ensure that workforce members are ready to become meaningful users of EHR’s. The following programs have been funded through HITECH to accomplish these goals:

  • Beacon Community Programs

  • State Health Information Exchange Cooperative Agreement Program

  • Health Information Technology Extension Program

  • Strategic Health IT advance Research Projects (SHARP) Program

  • Community College Consortia to Educate Health Information Technology Professionals Program

  • Curriculum Development Centers Program

  • Program of Assistance for University – Based Training

  • Competency Examination for Individuals Completing Non -Degree Training Programs

To find out more information about the above programs click here.