Health IT Now Statement on HHS Budget Request
Health IT Now Executive Director Joel White commented today on early summaries of the Trump’s administration Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) budget for the coming fiscal year. The administration’s full budget document is set to be unveiled tomorrow. White released the following statement:
“At first glance, the administration’s budget offers some promising reforms, but Health IT Now has grave concerns about the draconian cuts in funding to the National Institutes of Health that threaten implementation of the Precision Medicine Initiative and other health IT priorities. We hope Congress’ support of increased NIH funding in the recent omnibus bill indicates a preparedness to reject these dangerous cuts that would set us back in health care technology and innovation,” said Health IT Now Executive Director Joel White. “We also note the administration’s reduced funding for The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), but do not believe this reduction would pose an immediate adverse effect on health IT advances. ONC has extended its reach beyond its original purpose in the past and this funding level presents an opportunity for the agency to return to a laser focus on interoperability and implementation of the 21st Century Cures Act, including its key provisions related to information blocking.”
White continued, “While the administration additionally tasks ONC with adopting a usability focus, we believe patients and providers would be better served by ONC working to remove regulatory burdens that stand in the way of private sector innovations that could improve usability on their own. We remain committed to working with Congress and this administration to secure the full integration of technology in healthcare to create better outcomes for patients and providers at lower costs.”
About Health IT Now: Health IT Now (HITN) is a broad-based coalition of patient groups, provider organizations, employers, and payers that supports incentives to deploy health information technology to improve care, patient outcomes, and to lower costs. Learn more at www.healthitnow.org.