5 ways the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill will affect health IT  

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President Joe Biden is expected to sign a $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief package on March 12, which includes significant funds for tech efforts, such as increased cybersecurity defenses and telehealth infrastructure upgrades, NextGov reports. 

The House passed the relief package March 10; the legislation includes tens of billions of dollars to help with vaccine distribution and administration efforts as well as COVID-19 testing and genomic sequencing. Rural healthcare providers will also benefit from the bill, and Americans earning under $75,000 per year will receive $1,400 direct payments. 

Here are five ways the relief package will affect tech initiatives: 

1. The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency will get $650 million for cybersecurity risk mitigation, including increasing protections of the vaccine supply chain, according to The Hill

2. The bill will disperse $140 million to the Indian Health Service for IT, telehealth infrastructure and EHR systems upgrades. 

3. The Emergency Connectivity Fund, which supports broadband connectivity capabilities across the U.S., will get $7.1 billion. 

4. The U.S. Digital Service, a tech team within the Executive Office of the President, will receive $200 million, and the General Service Administration's Technology Modernization Fund will get $1 billion to upgrade outdated IT systems. 

5. The Federal Citizen Services Fund will receive $150 million to increase its public access and engagement efforts; the fund supports the adoption and implementation of emerging technologies in government programs. 

 

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