What do ARRA, HITECH and ONC mean?

ARRA is the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, more widely known as the Stimulus Bill of 2008. One of the provisions of this legislation was the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act.

HITECH authorizes the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to issue annual payments to eligible providers who demonstrate Meaningful Use of a certified electronic health record. Further, HITECH authorized significant funds for the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC or ONCHIT).

The ONC is tasked with implementing many elements of HITECH including creating technology standards, designating Meaningful Use criteria and certifying EHR vendors.