The discussion draft (warning: PDF) of The American Recovery and Investment Act of 2009 in the House of Representatives contains only $2 billion in new funds specific earmarked for healthcare IT, with that entire amount to be managed by the Office of the National Coordinator. The remainder of the $20 billion figure that was quoted for healthcare IT would be distributed by CMS as pay-for-performance incentives that have not yet been defined.
ONCHIT’s short-term $2 billion spending would be targeted for nationwide information exchange, healthcare professional training (possibly in informatics, not specifically stated), and grants for hospitals and doctors to acquire CCHIT-certified products.
A report from Piper Jaffray analyst Sean Wieland says that most of the CMS incentive funds will go to hospitals, with the intention of covering 1/3 of the cost of electronic medical records systems, but not prior to purchase.
Meanwhile on the other side of Congress, testimony from yesterday morning’s Senate hearing on Investing in Health IT: A Stimulus for a Healthier America is available online in video and PDF formats. Witness testimony is included from Jack Conchran of The Permanente Foundation, Janet Corrigan of the National Quality Forum, Valerie Melvin of the GAO, Peter Neupert of Microsoft, and Mary Grealy of Health Leadership Council.