Feds award $22M in grants for e-health

Senate committee approves merged health IT bill

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The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) recently awarded $22 million in grants to help foster health information exchange projects nationwide.

The 16 grants cover the first year of project implementation for what in most cases will be multiyear programs and follow AHRQ’s award last year of 40 grants for project planning as part of the Department of Health and Human Services.

These newly expanded projects are an important success story for the development of health IT in the United States, said Carolyn Clancy, director of AHRQ.

"These grantees started from scratch, many in rural and underserved areas, and in less than a year, they've laid the groundwork to build valuable health IT systems in their communities," she said.

The projects include support of chronic disease management and patient safety at the Franklin Foundation Hospital in coastal Louisiana, where health care providers are still recovering from Hurricane Katrina.

A facility in Nebraska, the Chadron Community Hospital, will build a regional health information exchange from among an established collaborative of rural hospitals, clinics and providers across a remote 14,000-square-mile area of Nebraska.

Overall, the projects stretch from Hawaii to rural Vermont.

About the Author

Brian Robinson is a freelance writer based in Portland, Ore.

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