Health Information Management

HHS invests $235 million in health IT Beacon Community Program

HIM-HIPAA Insider, December 22, 2009

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On December 2, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, and HHS’ National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONCHIT), David Blumenthal, announced plans to support the nationwide Beacon Community Program with a $235 million investment, according to an HHS press release. The Beacon Community Program, funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, works to “accelerate and demonstrate the ability of health information technology to transform local health care systems, and improve the lives of Americans and the performance of the health care providers who serve them,” according to the press release.
 
The support money includes $220 million in grants to build and strengthen health IT infrastructure, including a strong focus on privacy and security measures for data exchange within 15 communities hoping to take their EHR adoption and health information exchange to new heights. The remaining $15 million will support the communities with technical assistance and evaluation practices to measure the success of the program.
 
“Health information technology will make our health care system more efficient and improve care for every American,” Sebelius said in the press release. “The Beacon Community Program is a critical step forward as we work to expand the use of health information technology in hospitals and doctor’s offices across the country.”



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