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ONC in line for budget boost

President Obama’s proposed budget for fiscal 2013 includes a $66 million budget for the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC), an increase of $5 million from the previous year. The budget aims to advance the progress of creating a nationwide health IT infrastructure, including accelerating the adoption of electronic health records and their meaningful use by physicians. The majority of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) spending goes to entitlement and benefit programs, primarily Medicare and Medicaid. ONC and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) are working together to register physicians and hospitals for incentive payments, with an anticipated 80,000 providers receiving payments by the end of fiscal year 2012. The ONC is also working to foster the sharing of patient information and ensure privacy and security policies are in place. CMS would receive funding to begin operations for a federal version of the health insurance exchange and to modernize their enterprise-wide IT systems. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) would maintain its $26 million budget for health IT research, including funding for research grants and developing best practices.
Old budget: $61 million
Provision: $66 million
Percentage variance: 8.2%

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