The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) today announced an open public comment period on the Federal Health IT Strategic Plan: 2011-2015 (“the Plan”). The Plan reflects ONC’s strategy, developed in collaboration with other federal partners, over the next five years for realizing Congress and the Administration’s health IT agenda.
Despite evidence of the benefits of the use of health IT, today only 25 percent of physician offices and 15 percent of hospitals take advantage of electronic health records (EHRs). Two major pieces of legislation, enacted over the past two years, are dramatically changing the health IT landscape and providing an opportunity to modernize the way care is delivered and improve the health of all Americans – the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act and the Affordable Care Act. The Plan, originally published in 2008, is being updated to reflect the significant impact of these two pieces of legislation.
The Plan begins in 2011, when it became possible for eligible professionals and eligible hospitals that demonstrate “meaningful use” of certified electronic health record (EHR) technology to receive incentive payments under the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record (EHR) Incentive Programs as authorized by the HITECH Act.