HHS distributes $20M to rural hospitals for health IT
The funding is intended to help rural hospitals install electronic health record systems
The Health and Human Services Department is awarding another set of grants for health information technology, this time $20 million in new technical support to help rural hospitals convert to electronic health records.
The new funding from the economic stimulus law of 2009 will go to regional extension centers for the benefit of 1,655 critical-access and rural hospitals in 41 states, tribes and the District of Columbia, HHS announced in a news release.
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HHS officials said the grants were a new category of support "aimed specifically at assisting critical access and rural hospitals with their particular needs and challenges.”
Under the economic stimulus law, HHS is distributing $20 billion for electronic health record systems, including $17 billion to hospitals and physicians that purchase new systems, and $2 billion through the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT for technical assistance, training and demonstration projects.
The new rural hospital grants are part of the technical assistance pool of funds.
Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.