ONC Started Open Public Comment Period on Federal Health IT Strategic Plan

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The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) has announced the start of an open public comment period on the Federal Health IT Strategic Plan: 2011-2015 (“the Plan”). The Plan demonstrates 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.

Although the proved evidences of the benefits of using health IT, currently only 25 % of physician offices and 15 % of hospitals take advantage of electronic health records (EHRs). Two major pieces of legislation, enacted over the past two years, are noticeably 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 continuously updated to reflect the significant impact of these two pieces of legislation.

The Plan starts in 2011, when it became possible for eligible professionals and eligible hospitals that meet “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.

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