As proposed in the FY 2019 Budget, the HHS Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) wants to put the focus on the interoperability of health information to achieve a nation-wide interoperable health system, The goal is to enable large health care delivery networks and hundreds of thousands of smaller providers achieve interoperability using various health IT systems while addressing and lifting burdens felt by providers.
The proposed FY 2019 Budget for ONC is $38 million, $22 million below the FY 2018 Continuing Resolution. ONC would:
- Work to reduce provider burden and advance interoperability through existing programs.
- Administer policy and rulemaking activities as required by the 21st Century Cures Act, Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act, and the HIT for Economic and Clinical Health Act
- Work with providers, patients, payers, public health entities, researchers, stakeholders, and policy makers on health IT at the Federal and State level to advance the safe and secure movement of health information
- Continue to work with CMS to decrease documentation requirements and support new business models for payment
- Encourage the development of software applications that promote functional health IT tools for patients and clinicians plus use health IT to reduce provider, administrative, and the regulatory burden
- Support initiating a single Health IT Advisory Committee as directed by the 21st Century Cures Act to help ONC better understand the needs of patients and providers, inform policies critical to interoperability, and advance standards and specifications to support interoperability
- Continue to coordinate standards development and implementation
- Work with the HHS Office for Civil rights to show how HIPAA and other privacy laws and regulations support information flow in an electronic environment
- Support maintenance of standards conformance test tools, ONC Health IT Certification Program administration, and provide oversight and support for the Certified Health IT Product List with a focus towards interoperability
Go to http://www.hhs.gov/budget/sites/default/files/fy-2019-budget-in-brief.pdf to view the proposed “HHS Budget in Brief: FY 2019”.