Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, pledged $235 million in grants this past Wednesday to assist in the development and implementation of electronic health records across the country according to a report in the Dallas Morning News.
Grants are coming from an appropriation in the stimulus bill passed earlier this year and being offered through what’s known as the “Beacon Community Cooperative Agreement Program.” Only facilities already using healthcare IT will be eligible for grant funding.
“What sort of advancements will we get when we expand resources?” Sebelius asked rhetorically on a conference call with reporters. “Our hope is that the communities will become models for the rest of the country.”
The funding will be set up through what’s called “cooperative agreements” between the government and the organization receiving the funds. Awards will typically be between $10 and $20 million. Funding will go to standing leaders of the advancement of healthcare IT that have “the readiness to incorporate health IT to advance community-level care coordination and quality monitoring and feedback.”
State and local government programs, educational institutions and some other non-profit organizations are eligible to receive grant funds.