HHS to propose $13 million grant for AHIC successor

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The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has proposed that a grant of up to $13 million be awarded for the design, creation and operation of a successor entity to the American Health Information Community (AHIC).

Currently, the AHIC, which was created and is chaired by HHS Secretary Michael Leavitt, advises HHS health IT advancement, including the creation and deployment of a national IT network.

Leavitt has been pushing the AHIC toward the public-private sector, believing it could be more representative of industry stakeholders, while others, such as Congressman Pete Stark (D-Calif.), and the AARP interest group, believe the AHIC should remain under federal jurisdiction, where it could be held to government accountability.

HHS anticipates the grant will be split into three increments: one award of $2 million to support the design and creation of a successor entity during a four-month period; a subsequent $3 million payment will fund ongoing operations; and up to $8 million in additional funding will continue to support operations, assuming availability of funds.