Health centers get $27.8M for health IT projects

Money will go to health centers for uninisured people

The Health and Human Services Department will spend $27.8 million in economic stimulus law funding for health information technology projects at low-income health centers in 21 states, the department has announced.

The Health Resources and Services Administration will pay for implementing electronic health record (EHR) systems, forming health information exchanges and other projects, HHS said.

The health IT programs seek to improve the quality of care, prevent medical errors, and increase efficiency, David Blumenthal, HHS National Coordinator for Health IT, said in a news release.

“This program supports the department’s overall efforts to assist physicians and hospitals in adopting and becoming meaningful users of health information technology,” Blumenthal said.

Blumenthal is working with two federal advisory groups, the Health IT Policy Committee and the Health IT Standards Committee, to develop recommendations for standards for certifying EHR systems that can meet criteria for what will be defined as "meaningful use."

Overall, the Obama administration is distributing $2 billion in stimulus law money to improve care at low-income health centers.

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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