In accordance with the 90-day deadline established for an operating plan to be submitted to Congress on expenditures related to the $2 Billion Dollars appropriated under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act ("ARRA") relating to health information technology ("HIT"), the Office of the National Coordinator ("ONC") has submitted its proposed ARRA Implementation Plan to Congress. The Plan’s proposed Funding Table is as follows:

Total Appropriated

(Dollars in Millions)

Privacy and Security*

$ 24.285

National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)


Regional HIT Exchange




Total towards HIT

$ 2,000.000

* Includes 9.5 Million for audits by OCR and CMS.

Of particular interest to many should be the Privacy and Security Spend Plan section.  It specifies that over $24 Million of the federal dollars made available through ARRA would be spent on activities such as enhancing enforcement. More specifically, the Plan indicates that the ARRA funding "will enable the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) to carry out mandated audits, make modifications in their case and document management systems, and train State Attorneys General on their new enforcement role."   The Plan even aims to have State Attorneys General trained and ready to enforce HIPAA and HITECH by the end of the Third Quarter of 2009, or around September 2009!  If completed according to schedule, then the federal government could have a bastion of new HIPAA/HITECH enforcement soilders on the ground and ready when the interm final regulations for implementing breach notification for covered entities and business associates are released on August 18, 2009. 

For a copy of the entire Plan, visit HHS’ Recovery Website.