EHR Adoption Grants Awarded

Dr. David Blumenthal | February 12, 2010

Today Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced the awarding of nearly $800 million in grants to help states and health care providers advance the adoption and meaningful use of health information technology. Funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, $386 million will promote health information exchange  at the state level, while $375 million will support the development of regional extension centers (RECs) that will aid health professionals as they work to implement and use health information technology (health IT). 

In my role as National Coordinator for Health IT, I have the opportunity to regularly meet health care colleagues who are dedicated to, and passionate about, health IT as a tool to improve the care they deliver to their patients. On this blog, I’m frequently motivated by your spirit of collaboration and desire to get involved. Today’s grant awards represent opportunities to formalize some of these partnerships and create programs with goals we will collectively work towards.

$368 million of the awards announced today will give 40 states and qualified State Designated Entities the resources to rapidly build capacity for exchanging health information among and between health care professionals and hospitals. As they establish and implement appropriate governance, policies, and network service, they will be sharing and leveraging best practices and working together – within and across states. Likewise, the 32 REC recipients of $375 million in funds will begin to establish a network of non-profit organizations that will provide training and support services to assist doctors, hospitals, and other health care professionals in the adoption and meaningful use of EHR systems. These organizations will work collaboratively within the communities they serve to provide support to priority primary care providers in virtually every region of the country.  Additional awards for both these programs will be announced in the next two months.

I congratulate each grant recipient and speak for all of us at ONC in saying we look forward to working together to build a healthier America.