The Senate Appropriations Committee has awarded the Veterans Administration (VA) with $3.31 billion for health information technology in the new budget plan for 2010. The 2010 budget is 30 percent higher than that of 2009.
The committee has suggested that $800 million be allocated new programs, $939 million be spent on employee salaries and other expenses, and $1.57 billion be used for current programs. They also requested that some of the $800 million for new programs be used for integration of the VA electronic health records with the medical records kept by the Defense Department. The VA will also wait on spending most of the development money until they have completed their review on IT spending.
The report stated, “The committee understands that effective healthcare delivery in the 21st century requires robust and modern IT systems and remains strongly dedicated to providing the VA with the resources it needs to accomplish this modernization.”