- HHS will spend up to $250,000 in the coming year to improve information exchange about cyberthreats to healthcare organizations’ information technology systems.
- The ONC and the assistant secretary for preparedness and response will fund an Information Sharing and Analysis Organization (ISAO) to share cybersecurity information and promote best practices in the public and private sectors, according to a request for grant applicants.
- The ISAO will also expand outreach and education about cybersecurity throughout the healthcare system.
The push for ISAOs comes from an executive order signed by President Barack Obama in February 2015. The goal was to create organizations that could partner with the federal government in promoting cybersecurity information sharing.
“Keeping health IT up and running is critical to health system preparedness,” ASPR Nicole Lurie said in a statement, noting many people lack the information needed to prevent cyberattacks.
“Using the ISAO to exchange cyber threat information with these healthcare organizations, bi-directionally between HHS and the Healthcare and Public sector, we hope to build the capacity to better prevent, detect and respond to cyber attacks,” Lurie added.
In a recent Modern Healthcare survey, 81% of healthcare executives said they anticipate more cyberattacks on health IT systems this year than in 2015.
Michael McMillan, co-founder and CEO of Austin, TX-based CynergisTek, told Modern Healthcare that the funding should go to a broad-based industry group rather than providers.
HHS said the $250,000 funding level could be renewed for up to five years. The closing date for applications is Aug. 19.