Bush's 2007 budgetBush's 2007 budget: Increases for bioterrorism IT

Published 10 February 2006

Highlights of the bioterrorism aspects of the proposed 2007 budget

The Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS)HHS budget for IT would increase to $5.5 billion, from $5.2 billion, under the president’s 2007 budget proposal. Much of the IT spending increases are for electronic health records, health IT infrastructures, and public health systems. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) would spend $257 million on IT infrastructure next year, up from $252 million this year. Other infrastructure accounts include $100 million for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services; $96 million for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA); $75 million for the and Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

Bioterrorism-related IT funding would expand by 40 percent under the proposed budget, to $132 million in 2007, from $94 million in 2006 (this includes only programs which explicitly reference bioterrorism in their descriptions). Most of the budget increases for bioterrorism appear to be devoted to a single project, the National Health Information Network. The department is seeking to more than double the network’s funding — to $74 million, from $32 million in 2006, which is a $42 million increase. The goal is to develop and test programs for monitoring bioterrorism, emergency response, health care delivery, and adverse drug reactions.

Many of HHS’s other bioterrorism-related projects would receive stable or slightly declining funding next year:

BioSense, a national syndromic surveillance program in which the CDC monitors emergency room information, drug sales, doctors’ office reports, and other data from around the country on a continuous basis. The program watches for blips in fevers, severe coughs, and other markers which could provide early warnings of a bioterrorism attack or public health crisis. Its funding would be $47.5 million in 2007, down from $49.5 million this year.

The following bioterrorism IT programs will receive the same amounts in 2007 as they did in 2006:

The National Electronic Disease Surveillance System, $11.2 million

Monitoring or tracking of transfers of disease agents for research, $6.4 million

Vaccine ordering, $6.2 million

Vaccine availability, $4.7 million

Research lab information-sharing, $4.7 million

Outbreak management systems, $3.1 million

CDC Secure Data Network, $2.9 million

Emergency operations center support, $2.4 million

Health Alert Network, $500,000.

-read more in this report

MORE: DHS is scouting places to build a $451 million, 500,000 square feet, high-security biolab to replace the 55-year-old animal disease lab it operates on Plum Island, just off the northern tip of Long Island, New York. Report