The FY 2014 Budget for the Office of the National Coordinator for HIT is $78 million which is an appreciable increase of $17 million above FY 2012. For FY 2014, ONC has plans to continue to promote the Meaningful Use of HIT and in FY 2014, eligible providers will begin to attest to Stage 2 of the EHR incentive Programs.
Stage 2 will have standards and specifications to support HIE across vendor boundaries and with patients, provide for new measures and enhanced measures for capturing and reporting clinical quality measure data, and provide enhanced privacy and security protections for mobile devices.ONC plans to continue to enhance their National Learning Consortium (NLC) where adopters and implementers can share knowledge and address barriers. Through the NLC, ONC will publish tools and resources developed under the HITECH Act, including health IT workforce curricula, training materials, along with workflow and implementation guides.
As providers and patients increasingly engage and seek benefit from interoperable health IT; governance and oversight entities will play a critical role in establishing policies and business practices to allow information to follow patients. In FY 2014, ONC plans to work especially with governance and oversight entities to develop and promote policies and practices that support robust, secure, and interoperable exchange.
Patient safety and usability continues to be a focus for ONC. Federal partners AHRQ, FDA, and ONC will work together to create the foundation for a patient safety program to be launched in FY 2014. The program called “The Patient Safety Plan” will work to ensure that health IT is safely designed, implemented, staffs are properly informed and trained to use their health IT systems, and a surveillance system is established to monitor health IT related patient safety events.
In FY 2014, ONC also intends to address new privacy and security policy issues. To achieve the goals, ONC will continue to work alongside industry partners to construct and support a national Cybersecurity program.
The FY 2014 budget request for AHRQ includes $26 million for their health IT research portfolio. This investment includes $20 million to support 44 research grants that will generate research to improve the quality, safety, effectiveness, and efficiency of healthcare. In addition, $6 million will support contract activities related to synthesizing and disseminating evidence on meaningful use of health IT and developing the tools and resources to implement best practices.
Information from AHRQ’s health IT research is utilized by ONC and other stakeholders. In FY 2014, AHRQ will increase its support for research grants, while decreasing support for developing implementation tools, which are increasingly funded by ONC.
The Budget request for CMS includes $519 million for general IT systems and other support, such as systems to manage and administer Medicare Advantage and the Part D Benefit, FFM IT systems, marketplace data services hub, and the CMS data center and telecommunications infrastructure.The request includes $222.9 million to modernize and transform CMS’s enterprise-wide IT systems.
The Department of Veterans Affairs FY 2014 budget proposes a $152.7 billion budget which is a 10.2 percent increase over FY 2013. The VA’s FY 14 budget request would provide $3.7 billion for information technology and $460 million to use for home telehealth which is a 4.4 percent increase over the current year. Also, $246 million would be provided to treat traumatic brain injuries.