As part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, Congress enacted legislation designed to promote health information technology development and information exchange. By enacting the new law, Congress recognized that facilitating health information exchange and technology is important to improving the delivery of health care and reducing the costs of health care delivery and administration.

On April 7, 2009 the IRS announced that its Exempt Organizations division has an inventory of applications submitted by regional health information organizations (RHIOs) seeking exemption under section 501(c)(3), and that the IRS has recently issued favorable determinations under section 501(c)(3) to several RHIOs. The IRS announcement states that each determination is being made on a facts and circumstances basis in light of the requirements of section 501(c)(3) and the new legislation.