Feds Hand out Stimulus Funds for Health IT, Job Training

Lora Bentley

Two federal agencies have again announced the availability of grant money to increase the use of health care technology and increase the number of health IT jobs available. A Reuters post at CNBC.com reported Friday that Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius and Labor Secretary Hilda Solis announced almost $1 billion in federal grant money.

 

According to the Reuters story:

Sebelius announced more than $750 million in awards for states and health care providers. Solis announced more than $225 million in Department of Labor grant awards that will be used to train 15,000 people in job skills needed to support careers in health care, information technology and other high growth fields.

The White House has been pushing for everyone in the United States to move to electronic health records since before the Obama Administration took over, and Congress did its part with passage of the HITECH Act as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. In part, the HITECH Act set aside nearly $22 billion in federal funds to encourage the adoption of electronic health records and improve health care IT infrastructure.

 

Most recently, the Department of Health and Human Services released its proposed regulations regarding the "meaningful use" standard health care providers must meet to qualify for the federal incentives.



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