On March 15th, Dr. David Blumenthal, National Coordinator for HHS, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, and Congressman Patrick Kennedy visited Rhode Island. This visit was made following last month’s allocation of over $11 million in federal grants to the Rhode Island Quality Institute to help establish regional extension centers. The Rhode Island funding through ARRA will be used to establish regional extension centers and to help establish an integrated information exchange throughout the state.
According to Dr. Blumenthal “Rhode Island is an excellent example of the leadership role that states can play in advancing the development of the exchange capacity of healthcare providers and hospitals within their states and across the nation.”
On the same day, Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary HHS, and Dr. Blumenthal announced a second wave of grants with an additional $162 million in awards to go to 16 states and qualified State Designated Entities (SDE) in Recovery Act Investments.
These 16 awards complete the awarding of cooperative agreements funded by this program and are part of the $2 billion effort to achieve widespread meaningful use of HIT. Just last month, HHS awarded $385 million to 40 states and SDEs.
The new HIE competitive agreements went to:
• The Florida Agency of Health Care Administration ($20,738,582)
• Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene ($9,313,924)
• New Jersey Health Care Facilities Financing Authority ($11,408,594)
• South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (($9,576,408)
• Iowa Department of Public Health ($8,375,000)
• Idaho Health Data Exchange ($5,940,500)
• State of Alaska ($4,963,063)
• Nebraska Department of Administrative Services (6,837,180)
• South Dakota Department of Health ($6,081,750)
• Connecticut Department of Public Health ($7,297,930)
• State of Mississippi ($10,387,000)
• Indiana Health Information Technology, Inc. ($10,300,000)
• HealthShare Montana ($5,767,926)
• Texas Health and Human Services Commission ($28,810,208)
• Louisiana Health Care Quality Forum ($10,583,000).