CCH® Medicare — 09/07/09
Grants For Electronic Health Records
Vice President Biden announced on August 20, 2009, that nearly $1.2 billion in grants would be available to (1) help hospitals and health care providers implement and use electronic health records (EHRs), and (2) help health care providers qualify for new incentives that will be made available in 2010 for doctors and hospitals that meaningfully use EHRs. According to HHS Secretary Sebelius, [EHRs] can help reduce medical errors, make health care more efficient and improve the quality of medical care for all Americans. The grants, which would be funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, include: $598 million to establish approximately 70 Health Information Technology Regional Extension Centers, which will provide hospitals and clinicians with hands-on technical assistance in the implementation and meaningful use of certified EHR systems; and $564 million to states and Qualified State Designated Entities to support the development of mechanisms for information sharing within a nationwide system of networks.
The grants for the Regional Extension Centers will be awarded on a rolling basis, with the first awards being issued in fiscal year 2010. The grants for states will be issued in fiscal year 2010. Interested grant applicants can visit http://HealthIT.HHS.gov for more information. HHS will also provide additional assistance to health care providers through the Health Information Technology Research Center, which will gather information on effective practices, and help Regional Extension Centers collaborate to identify and share best practices in EHR adoption, effective use, and provider support.