Moving the country's health information into the digital age is something that President Obama campaigned on, and it's something we've heard about at frequent intervals since he took office. In Title XIII of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, aka the HITECH Act, Congress reserved $22 billion to "advance the use of health information technology" in the United States.
The Associated Press reported Thursday that the government is spending at least a sliver of that right now. Vice President Joe Biden and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced that nearly $1.2 billion in grant money will be available on Oct. 1, specifically to help hospitals make the transition to electronic health records.
Specifically, according to the AP: Of the money set aside, $589 million would establish centers to help hospitals and clinics with technical aspects of choosing systems for electronic health records. Another $564 million would be set aside to help hospitals share patients' information with each other.