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Subject: US Bill to sponsor interoperability in healthcare funding.
FYI - this obviously would be very good for OASIS specifications. DW (June 13, 2005) The federal government would provide $250 million in grants--and another $250 million in loans--in each fiscal year from 2006 through 2011 to support development of a national health information network under legislation introduced in the Senate. Grant recipients would be required to provide matching funds of at least 20%. Senate Bill 1223 from Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) also would authorize the government to adopt standards that promote interoperability of information systems within two years of adoption. The legislation further would create the Office of Health Information Technology within the executive office of the president. Duties of the office would be similar to those of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology within the Department of Health and Human Services. The bill has been referred to the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee. Full text is available at http://thomas.loc.gov. More legislation to promote development of a national health information network is expected from Sens. Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) and Debbie Stabenow (R-Mich.), and Majority Leader William Frist (R-Tenn.) and Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.).