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ONC publishes SEN under LEAP for health IT projects

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), through the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), today published a Special Emphasis Notice (SEN) under the Leading Edge Acceleration Projects (LEAP) in Health Information Technology (Health IT) funding opportunity for fiscal year 2024. Specifically, ONC is seeking applications through this funding opportunity for projects that address one of the following areas of interests:

  • Area 1: Develop innovative ways to evaluate and improve the quality of health care data used by artificial intelligence (AI) tools in health care. This area of interest is focused on the development of scalable solutions to evaluate and improve the quality of health care data available in electronic health record (EHR) technologies used by AI tools.
  • Area 2: Accelerate adoption of health IT in behavioral health. This area of interest is focused on designing, developing, and piloting lightweight health IT solutions that can enhance health IT capabilities in behavioral health settings and improve care coordination between behavioral health and clinical healthcare settings

“These two areas of interest are a natural extension of ONC’s work,” said Steve Posnack, deputy national coordinator for health information technology. “We look forward to receiving innovative applications and seeing the impacts generated by selected awardees.”

Earlier this year, ONC published the HTI-1 final rule which, among other things, established first of its kind transparency requirements for AI and other predictive algorithms that are part of certain certified health IT, as part of the ONC Health IT Certification Program. Additionally, ONC and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) launched the Behavioral Health Information Technology Initiative, a multi-year effort to invest more than $20 million of SAMHSA funds to advance health IT in behavioral health care and practice settings.

For the FY24 LEAP in Health IT funding opportunity, ONC expects to issue one cooperative agreement award of up to $1 million for each area of interest, totaling up to $2 million for the two awards, in fiscal year 2024. Interested applicants are encouraged to review NAP-AX-22-001 at to learn more.

The goal of the LEAP in Health IT funding opportunity is to address well-documented and fast-emerging challenges to the development, use, or advancement of well-designed, interoperable, and scalable health IT. Solutions are expected to further a new generation of health IT tools and inform the development, implementation, and refinement of health IT standards, methods, and techniques towards enabling widespread adoption of health IT tools to improve health outcomes.

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