A real, hard number on ARRA funding for HIT

The spending estimate for health IT provisions in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act seems like a moving target. (I guess that’s the nature of estimates, anyway.) The popular number thrown around for a year has been $19.2 billion for EHRs. But that’s a net figure based on expected efficiency gains. I’ve heard that the real outlay is anywhere from $25 billion to $45 billion.

Well, I happened upon the HHS ARRA Web site tonight, where the graph on the home page shows $48.8 billion for health IT. That’s more than just the EHR incentive program and the $2 billion in ONC discretionary funds, of course, but that’s higher than any estimate I’ve heard to date.

As an American taxpayer, I really hope this whole thing works. But I’ll stop for now because it’s game time.

UPDATE, Feb. 21: The number is $25.8 billion, based on a Feb. 1 estimate.