Health Information Technology Provisions in the Recovery Act

April 1, 2009

The following is an overview of the health information technology (HIT) provisions in H.R. 1, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA, or Recovery Act), which President Obama signed into law on February 17, 2009. This document reviews potential funding sources and key decision makers for HIT at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and its agencies. This overview highlights the HIT incentive payments, which are the largest piece of HIT funding in the Recovery Act, how various provisions of the HIT provisions are to be implemented, when they are required or expected to happen, and who the key players will be in the process.


Background on the Recovery Act

  • The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act establishes a national framework for developing a nationwide electronic exchange and the development of uniform, interoperable standards for the use of HIT. The HIT provisions of ARRA are found primarily in Division A, the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH), and in Title IV of Division B, Medicare and Medicaid Health Information Technology.
  • From the total $19.2 billion devoted to HIT adoption, the Office of National Coordinator for HIT(ONCHIT) will receive $2 billion and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) will receive approximately $17 billion.
  • Other ARRA funds distributed among the HHS agencies which may impact HIT infrastructure include: $10 billion to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for biomedical research and to improve facilities, $2.5 billion to the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), $1.1 billion to the Agency for Health Research and Quality (AHRQ) for comparative effectiveness research, $1 billion to the Public Health Service for prevention and wellness, and $85 million to the Indian Health Services (IHS). Additionally, the Veterans Administration, the Department of Defense, and the Social Security Administration will receive funds that could involve and impact the implementation of HIT.

Download the Foley Hoag Health Information Technology Provisions in the Recovery Act eBook (.pdf)