Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius last week announced $83.9 million in grants to help networks of health centers implement electronic health records and other healthcare-related IT systems.
The grants are part of the $2 billion allotted to HHS’ Health Resources and Services Administration under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 to expand healthcare services to low-income and uninsured individuals through its health-center program.
“We need health information technology to bring our healthcare system into the 21st century,” Sebelius said. “This essential technology improves the quality of care we all receive and helps make care more efficient.”
Forty five grants will support new and enhanced EHR implementation projects as well as HIT innovation projects. Grantees will be able to use EHR technology to improve healthcare quality, efficiency and patient safety. Those healthcare providers who are able to demonstrate meaningful use of certified EHR technology may be eligible for incentive payments provided under Medicaid and Medicare.
“These funds will help safety-net providers acquire state-of-the-art health information technology systems as they work to provide quality healthcare to millions of people in need,” HRSA Administrator Mary Wakefield said.