ONC Releases Health IT Strategic Plan for 2015-2020

December 8, 2014 in News

On Monday, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT released the new Federal Health IT Strategic Plan for 2015 to 2020, Modern Healthcare reports (Conn, Modern Healthcare, 12/8).

Background on Strategic Plan

HHS first created the strategic plan in June 2008. The 2009 economic stimulus package tasked ONC with updating that plan (iHealthBeat, 7/23/13). ONC in 2011 released an updated version of the plan.

National Coordinator for Health IT Karen DeSalvo noted that the federal government had made significant progress in advancing health IT since the 2011 plan, including by incentivizing the use of electronic health records via the meaningful use program.

Under the 2009 federal economic stimulus package, health care providers who demonstrate meaningful use of certified EHRs can qualify for Medicaid and Medicare incentive payments.

Details of Strategic Plan

The Federal Health IT Strategic Plan 2015-2020, which will serve as a strategy for the federal government, was the result of input from about 35 federal entities (Miliard, Healthcare IT News, 12/8). The plan includes five goals:

  1. Further the adoption of health IT, while increasing user and market confidence in the safety of such products and fostering a national communications framework to support care delivery, health and safety;
  2. Advance secure and interoperable health data by enabling individuals to securely receive, send and use such data, and take steps to keep those data secure through technical standards;
  3. Strengthen the delivery of health care;
  4. Improve individuals’ and communities’ health and well-being by promoting health engagement; and
  5. Advance innovation and research by increasing access and use of high-quality electronic health data and services, fostering the development and commercialization of innovative products (Dvorak, FierceHealthIT, 12/8).

ONC is accepting comments on the plan for the next 60 days (Murphy, EHR Intelligence, 12/8).

Comments, Next Steps

DeSalvo said, “With this updated plan, the federal government signals that, while we will continue to work towards more widespread adoption of health IT, efforts will begin to include new sources of information and ways to disseminate knowledge quickly, securely and efficiently.”

According to Healthcare IT News, the new strategic plan will help set the groundwork for ONC’s upcoming Nationwide Interoperability Roadmap, which is expected to be unveiled in January 2015 (Healthcare IT News, 12/8).

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