HHS Secretary Delegates to ONC Head New HITECH Act Authority

Effective August 7, 2009, and published in the Federal Register on Tuesday, August 18, 2009, Secretary Kathleen Sebelius of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has delegated authority to the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, David Blumenthal, M.D., to administer “Subtitle B, ‘Incentives for the Use of health Information Technology,’ sections 3011 through 3017, with the exception of 3012(c)(5), the Financial Support subsection.”  These sections and titles, which appear on pages 132-144 of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), signed by President Obama on February 17, 2009, available on the hipaa.com site, include:

  • 3011 Immediate Funding to Strengthen the Health Information Technology Infrastructure, including “invest[ment] in the infrastructure necessary to allow for and promote the electronic exchange and use of health information for each individual in the United States consistent with the goals outlined in the strategic plan developed by the National Coordinator…”.
  • 3012 Health Information Technology Implementation Assistance, with the exclusion of assistance to any health information technology regional extension center as noted in the quote above.
  • 3013    State Grants to Promote Health Information Technology.
  • 3014    Competitive Grants to States and Indian Tribes for the Development of Loan Programs to Facilitate the Widespread Adoption of Certified EHR Technology.
  • 3015    Demonstration Program to Integrate Information Technology into Clinical Education.
  • 3016    Information Technology Professionals in Health Care.
  • 3017    General Grant and Loan Provisions.

The delegation notice in the Federal Register is available here. For additional information pertaining to this delegation and to its substance, please read the referenced ARRA pages and visit the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) website.

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