HHS awards $162M for health data exchanges

Final round of health IT stimulus grants goes to 16 states

The Health and Human Services Department will give $162 million to 16 states to help form health information exchanges that follow national standards, HHS has announced.

It is the second and final group of grants under the State Health Information Exchange Cooperative Agreement Program created by the economic stimulus law of 2009.

The first round of cooperative agreements was made in February. To date, 56 states, territories and state-designated entities have received a total of $548 million funding under the program.

The goal of the program is to enhance "meaningful use" of electronic health records by creating mechanisms for non-proprietary health data exchange. The stimulus law had $20 billion to advance digital health record adoption and use.

Participating states will develop services and directories to ensure interoperability of health record systems with labs, hospitals, doctors’ offices, health plans and other partners. They also will coordinate with Medicaid and state public health programs and set up governance and accountability for a statewide approach to health data exchange, HHS said March 15.

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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