2011 Budget Boosts ONC Funding

Includes $7 million for privacy/security The Obama Administration on Feb. 1 released a summary of its fiscal 2011 budget proposal that includes a 28% increase in funding for a unit that plays a major role in ensuring the privacy and security of health information.

Under the proposal, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services would receive $78 million in funding in fiscal 2011, up from $61 million in fiscal 2010.

In fiscal 2009, however, ONC's budget totaled $2 billion, thanks to funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which it doled out of a long list of special electronic health records projects.

ONC takes the lead role in crafting rules, regulations and standards for health information technology under the HITECH Act, including those on privacy and security.

The ONC budget for fiscal 2011 includes $7 million to "support continued development of appropriate federal privacy and security protections of electronic health information, and state consensus efforts to address patient protections."

In addition to the money for ONC, the HHS budget includes:

  • $32 million for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality to advance the use of health IT to enhance patient safety;
  • $1.6 million to the Office of Civil Rights for regional privacy advisors; and
  • $1 million in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation for independent evaluations of EHR adoption and economic factors influencing health IT.

About the Author

Howard Anderson

Howard Anderson

News Editor, ISMG

Anderson is news editor of Information Security Media Group and was founding editor of HealthcareInfoSecurity and DataBreachToday. He has more than 40 years of journalism experience, with a focus on healthcare information technology issues. Before launching HealthcareInfoSecurity, he served as founding editor of Health Data Management magazine, where he worked for 17 years, and he served in leadership roles at several other healthcare magazines and newspapers.

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