Wednesday, September 30, 2009

$27.8 Million to Expand Health IT

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announces awards totaling $27.8 million will go to health center-controlled networks and large multi-site health centers to implement electronic health records and other HIT innovations. The funds are part of the $2 billion allotted to HRSA under the Recovery Act.

“These funds will be used to expand and upgrade electronic health records systems and will make a huge difference for health centers struggling to provide healthcare to the growing number of people in need,” said HRSA Administrator Mary Wakefield, PhD., RN. According to David Blumenthal, MD, the program supports the department’s overall efforts to assist physicians and hospitals in adopting and becoming meaningful users of HIT.

Eighteen grants totaling more than $22.6 million will support EHR implementations. Grants totaling more than $2.6 million will help four grantees implement a variety of HIT innovations, including the creation of health information exchanges among different providers and the incorporation of HIT at dental delivery sites. Another five grants totaling over $2.5 million will help health centers devise plans to use existing EHRs to improve patient health outcomes.

HRSA received $2 billion through the Recovery Act to expand healthcare services to low-income and uninsured individuals through its health center program. To date, more than $1.3 billion has been awarded to community based organizations across the country.

The complete list of grant recipients is available at