Beacon Community Program

About the Program

The Beacon Community Cooperative Agreement Program demonstrates how health IT investments and Meaningful Use of electronic health records (EHR) advance the vision of patient-centered care, while achieving the three-part aim of better health, better care at lower cost. The HHS Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) is providing $250 million over three years to 17 selected communities throughout the United States that have already made inroads in the development of secure, private, and accurate systems of EHR adoption and health information exchange. Each of the 17 communities—with its unique population and regional context—is actively pursuing the following areas of focus:

  • Building and strengthening the health IT infrastructure and exchange capabilities within communities, positioning each community to pursue a new level of sustainable health care quality and efficiency over the coming years;
  • Translating investments in health IT to measureable improvements in cost, quality and population health, and;
  • Developing innovative approaches to performance measurement, technology and care delivery to accelerate evidence generation for new approaches.

Aaron McKethan, Craig Brammer, and Tom Tsang from the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC), and the Beacon Communities discuss the challenges of America's current health care system and how it can be improved through health information technology.

Beacon Community

Award Amount


Bangor Beacon Community, Brewer, ME


Improve the health of patients with diabetes, lung disease, heart disease, and asthma by enhancing care management; improving access to, and use of, adult immunization data; preventing unnecessary ED visits and re-admissions to hospitals; and facilitating access to patient records using health information technology.

Beacon Community of the Inland Northwest, Spokane, WA


Increase care coordination for patients with diabetes in rural areas and expand the existing health information exchange to provide a higher level of connectivity throughout the region.

Central Indiana Beacon Community, Indianapolis, IN


Expand the country's largest Health Information Exchange to new community providers in order to improve cholesterol and blood sugar control for diabetic patients and reduce preventable re-admissions through telemonitoring of high risk chronic disease patients after hospital discharge.

Colorado Beacon Community, Grand Junction, CO


Demonstrate how costs can be reduced and patient care improved, through the collection, analysis, and sharing of clinical data, and the redesign of primary care practices and clinics.

Crescent City Beacon Community, New Orleans, LA


Reduce racial health disparities and improve control of diabetes and smoking cessation rates by linking technically isolated health systems, providers, and hospitals; and empower patients by increasing their access to Personal Health Records.

Delta BLUES Beacon Community, Stoneville, MS


Improve access to care for diabetic patients through the meaningful use of electronic health records and health information exchange by primary care providers in the Mississippi Delta, and increase the efficiency of health care in the area by reducing excess health care costs for patients with diabetes through the use of electronic health record.

Greater Cincinnati Beacon Community, Cincinnati, OH


Develop new quality improvement and care coordination initiatives focusing on patients with pediatric asthma, adult diabetes, and encouraging smoking cessation, and provide better clinical information and IT "decision support" tools to physicians, health systems, federally qualified health centers, and critical access hospitals.

Greater Tulsa Health Access Network Beacon Community, Tulsa, OK


Leverage broad community partnerships with hospitals, providers, payers, and government agencies to expand a community-wide care coordination system, which will increase appropriate referrals for cancer screenings, decrease unnecessary specialist visits and (with telemedicine) increase access to care for patients with diabetes.

Hawaii County Beacon Community, Hilo, HI


Improve the health of the Hawaii Island residents through implementation of a series of healthcare system improvements and interventions across independent hospitals, physicians and physician groups. Engaging patients in their own healthcare is also a primary focus.

Keystone Beacon Community, Danville, PA


Establish community-wide care coordination through the expanded availability and use of health information technology for both clinicians and patients in a five-county area to enhance care for patients with pulmonary disease and congestive heart failure.

Rhode Island Beacon Community, Providence, RI


Improve the management of care through several health information technology initiatives to support Rhode Island's transition to the Patient Centered Medical Home model, which create systems to measure and report processes and outcomes that drive improved quality, reduce health care costs, and improve health outcomes.

San Diego Beacon Community, San Diego, CA


Expand electronic health information exchange to enable providers to improve medical care decisions and overall care quality, to empower patients to engage in their own health management, and to reduce unnecessary and redundant testing.

Southeastern Michigan Beacon Community, Detroit, MI


Make long-term, sustainable improvements in the quality and efficiency of diabetes care through leveraging existing and new technologies across health care settings, and providing practical support to help clinicians, nurses, and other health professionals make the best use of electronic health data.

Southeastern Minnesota Beacon Community, Rochester, MN


Enhance patient care management, reduce costs associated with hospitalization and emergency services for patients with diabetes and childhood asthma, and reduce health disparities for underserved populations and rural communities.

Southern Piedmont Beacon Community, Concord, NC


Increase use health information technology, including health information exchange among providers and increased patient access to health records to improve coordination of care, encourage patient involvement in their own medical care, and improve health outcomes while controlling cost.

Utah Beacon Community, Salt Lake City, UT


Improve the management and coordination of care for patients with diabetes and other life-threatening conditions, decrease unnecessary costs in the health care system, and improve public health.

Western New York Beacon Community, Buffalo, NY


Expand the Western New York network, close gaps in service, and improve health outcomes for patients with diabetes.