Last week, Congress, in raising the limits on non-defense discretionary spending, investing in the NIH and combating the opioid crisis, took bipartisan action to cement our nation’s commitment to supporting innovative solutions to our growing public health and healthcare needs. By raising the caps, extending vital programs, and passing 21st Century Cures, Congress collectively made a down payment on the future of health security for all Americans.
HIMSS is concerned that the significant cuts proposed for HHS in the President’s FY19 Budget Request run contrary to Congress’ intent to promote policy that advances patient safety, quality outcomes, and innovation in healthcare. The proposed cuts to various agencies within HHS including ONC, CDC, CMS, and OCR, combined with the proposed elimination of the AHRQ, and its critical health IT portfolio, sends the message that the U.S. is not committed to maintaining our role as the leading voice on medical innovation.
It is no longer enough to implement certified EHR technology in every physician office and hospital. We have moved on to measuring our progress based on what we, the healthcare community, have done to impact care delivery and drive positive outcomes for patients. Every federal health agency facing cuts under this budget has a critical role to play in making this goal a reality.
We encourage Congress to reject the proposed cuts and confirm its investment in medical and health services research, innovation and health information and technology to support healthcare transformation for patients.