What resources other than incentive payments are available for health IT in rural settings?
Grant Programs and Funding Opportunities
There are several grant programs and funding opportunities intended to help rural providers and rural communities implement health IT.
- The Rural Utilities Service provides programs to finance rural America’s telecommunications infrastructure, including the Distance Learning and Telemedicine Program, the Community Connect Grant Program, and the Telecommunications Infrastructure Loan Program. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Community Facilities Programs provide loans and grants and loan guarantees for water and environmental projects, as well as community facilities projects. Community facilities projects develop essential community facilities for public use in rural areas and may include hospitals, as well as many other community-based initiatives.
- The USDA’s Farm Bill Broadband Program is designed to provide loans for funding, on a technology neutral basis, for the costs of construction, improvement, and acquisition of facilities and equipment to provide broadband service to eligible rural communities.
- The Federal Communications Commission’s Rural Health Care Program provides funding to eligible health care providers for telecommunications services, including broadband necessary for the provision of health care.
- The Rural Assistance Center provides summaries of health IT funding programs available to rural communities.
- The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) prepared a Grants Primer [PDF - 30 KB] that highlights the key steps needed to find and apply for grants.
Your Local Regional Extension Center Can Help
Your local Regional Extension Center (REC) can help you find funding opportunities. RECs are located at every region of the country to help health care providers select, implement, and become adept and meaningful users of electronic health records. Contact your local REC to find out if you are eligible for free or reduced-price local support.