ONC Would Get $57 Million Under President's 2012 Budget

In his 2012 proposed budget released in February, President Obama requests $57 million for the Office of the National Coordinator of Health Information Technology. Counting funding from other sources, ONC's 2012 budget would be $78.4 million, up from $60.5 million in 2010. The office also administers HITECH Act funds to support hospitals and other providers in becoming meaningful users of certified electronic health records. ONC's funding is part of the Health & Human Services budget, which would be $79.9 billion under the president's proposal.—Visit http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/Overview. •

Additional Funding for CAHs and Rural Hospitals to Adopt EHRs

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology in February announced an additional $12 million in technical-support assistance to help critical access and rural hospitals adopt and become meaningful users of health information technology. The funding supports ONC's Regional Extension Center program, which provides a wide range of support services to the 1,777 critical access and rural hospitals in 41 states and the nationwide Indian Country, headquartered in Washington, D.C., to help them qualify for EHR incentive payments from Medicare and Medicaid. Visit https://www.healthit.gov/providers-professionals/regional-extension-centers-recs.

Poll: Enthusiasm for EHRs Tops Worries Over Privacy

Almost half of people responding to a survey said they are concerned about the privacy of electronic health records, but 64 percent support EHRs anyway. The study, published in Health Services Research, also found that 80 percent of respondents support the use of electronic prescribing systems and 44 percent said they would not pay extra for access to EHRs. —For more information, visit www.hsr.org/.