Federal Grants to Be Available to Hospitals for EHR Transition

Lora Bentley

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.


HealthImaging.com directs those who are interested in applying for the grants to the Health and Human Services Health IT Web site.

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Aug 3, 2010 4:11 AM Vishal Vishal  says:

Very interesting discussion. I truly think that the points discussed out here regd. the REC's are going to be point of contention  looking ahead, towards a successful EMR deployment.

On the issue of REC's competing against each other, I feel this will result in a healthy competition, if they don't get biased for a particular EHR vendor. I believe these REC's should set their own unique business model, as discussed above within the guidelines set-forth in the HITECH act.This would result in each REC having a set of vendors with similar offering , yet maintaining their own unique selling point. Each EHR vendor should have their own interpretation of HITECH act, using which the REC's can quote or compete for the jobs.Regarding the grants given, I believe the staggered form of funding does solve most of the confusion.


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