The Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act of 2009 seeks to improve American health care delivery and patient care through an unprecedented investment in health information technology. The provisions of the HITECH Act are specifically designed to work together to provide the necessary assistance and technological support to providers, enable coordination and alignment within and among states, establish connectivity to the public health community in case of emergencies, and assure the workforce is properly trained and equipped to be meaningful users of EHRs. Combined these programs build the foundation for every American to benefit from an electronic health record, as part of a modernized, interconnected, and vastly improved system of care delivery.
The HITECH Act amends Title XXX of the Public Health Service Act by adding Section 3012, Health Information Technology Implementation Assistance. This section provides supportive services for the rest of the HITECH Act. Section 3012 (a) establishes the Health Information Technology Extension Program (Extension Program) which consists of both the Health Information Technology Regional Extension Centers (Regional Extension Centers) and the Health Information Technology Research Center (HITRC).
The HITECH Act also authorizes additional programs, initiatives, and regulations including to those related to strengthening health information exchange, health IT innovation, the health IT workforce, Beacon communities, standards and certification, and the Medicare and Medicaid EHR incentive programs. Information on these initiatives can be found at http://healthit.hhs.gov.