ARRA funds for $167.8 million will enable the USDA’s Rural Development Community Facilities Program plus matching funds of $60 million and funds from other sources to provide both grants and loans. Some of this funding is going to be used to provide assistance to healthcare facilities and infrastructure in rural communities.
The following states received funding for rural health projects:
• Alaska’s Sunshine Community Health Center received $150,000 in loans, and $350,000 in grants to provide for a healthcare clinic
• Georgia’s Community Health Care system received $727,180 in loans to construct a new healthcare facility
• Maine’s Houlton Regional Hospital receive $55,000 in grants to renovate a radiology department and install updated scanning equipment
• Missouri’s Medical Delta Center, received $1,300,000 in loans and $250,00 in grants to construct a rural health clinic
• Nebraska’s Memorial Community Hospital received $6,700,000 in loans to remodel hospital
• North Carolina’s Good Hope Hospital received $2,500,00 in loans to construct a 16 bed psychiatric facility
• Oklahoma’s Fairfax Medical Facility received $2,893,277 in loans and $300,000 in grants to construct a green medical clinic
• South Dakota’s Mobridge Regional Hospital received $164,500 in loans and $30,000 in grants to purchase a new intensive care unit monitoring system
• Vermont’s Copley Professional Services Group received $1,382,400 in loans to expand federally qualified health centers
• Virginia’s Tangier Island Health Foundation received $49,879 in grants to purchase a digital x-ray machine
Last week, HHS announced the availability of $83.9 million in grants to help networks of health centers adopt electronic health records and other health information technology systems. The funds are part of the $2 billion allotted to HRSA under the Recovery Act to expand healthcare services to low income and uninsured individuals through its health center program.
The Health Center Controlled Networks provide management, financial, technology and clinical support services. The networks comprised of at least three collaborating organizations are community-based groups support health centers and provide primary healthcare to nearly 19 million patients a number expected to double over the next five years.
Forty five grants will support new and enhanced EHR implementation projects as well as HIT innovation projects. Eligible professionals practicing within health centers that can demonstrate meaningful use of certified EHR technology may be eligible for incentive payments provided under Medicaid and Medicare.
Seven grants were awarded to centers for $3 million with OCHIN in Portland one of the groups receiving $3 million. In addition, in March 2010, OCHIN received $13.2 million to establish the Oregon Health Regional Extension Center program. This funding is part of the stimulus funding and will be used to help over 3,000 Oregon primary care providers install and use EHRs.