Bay Area Health Care Leaders Say Stimulus Funds Could Be Delayed
Health care officials in the Bay area are concerned that stimulus funds for health information technology efforts will not be released on schedule in part because of vacancies at HHS and CMS, the San Francisco Business Times reports.
The economic stimulus package aims to begin distributing more than $19 billion for health IT in 2011.
Paul Tang -- vice president and chief medical information officer at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation, who was recently named to a panel that will advise the Obama administration on health IT -- said, "I don't think it's impossible, (but) it's an aggressive timeline."
The Senate has not yet confirmed Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius (D) as secretary of HHS, and President Obama has not named a head of CMS.Â
Both positions will have significant influence over the distribution of health IT funds.
In addition, David Blumenthal assumed his position as national coordinator for health IT just last week.Health care IT analyst Jeff Bauer and other industry watchers said the open slots mean that important decisions that will affect stimulus funding are not being made (Rauber, San Francisco Business Times, 4/27). This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.