HHS awards health grant programs worth $38 million to U.S. communities

HHS awards health grant programs worth $38 million to U.S. communities

WASHINGTON, DC - This is a news release from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 

As part of the Administration's efforts to create an interoperable learning health system that achieves better care, smarter spending and healthier people, the Department of Health and Human Services' (HHS) Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) announced today twenty awardees for three health information technology (health IT) grant programs totaling about $38 million.

"We have made great strides in the adoption and use of health IT. As we move beyond adoption to a learning health system where information is available when and where it matters most, it is important to ensure greater care coordination at the community level, and these grants provide resources to meet this goal," said Karen DeSalvo, M.D., M.P.H., M.Sc., National Coordinator for health IT.

The grants build on programs funded from the Health Information Technology and Clinical Health Act (HITECH), part of the American Recovery and Revitalization Act (ARRA) of 2009. These grants will further HHS's efforts to improve the way providers are paid, improve and innovate in care delivery, and share information more broadly to providers, consumers, and others to support better health care decisions while maintaining privacy.

The three cooperative agreement programs are:

Advance Interoperable Health Information Technology Services to Support Health Information Exchange – This two-year cooperative agreement program has awarded $29.6 million to support the efforts of 12 states or state designated entities to expand the adoption of health information exchange technology, tools, and services; facilitate and enable the send, receive, find, and use capabilities of health information across organizational, vendor, and geographic boundaries; and increase the integration of health information in interoperable health IT to support care processes and decision making. The organizations selected to participate in this program include:

Arkansas Office of Health Information Technology

California Emergency Medical Services Authority

Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing

Delaware Health Information Network

Illinois Health Information Exchange Authority

Nebraska Department of Administrative Services

New Hampshire Health Information Organization Corporation

New Jersey Innovation Institute

Oregon Health Authority

Rhode Island Quality Institute

South Carolina Health Information Partners, Inc.

Utah Health Information Network

The Community Health Peer Learning Program - This two-year cooperative agreement grant award was made to AcademyHealth to work with 15 communities around population health strategies. Communities working with AcademyHealth under this program will be required to identify data solutions, accelerate local progress, disseminate best practices and learning guides, and help inform national strategy around population health challenges. The grant for this program totals $2.2 million.

The Workforce Training Program – This two-year cooperative agreement program has awarded seven grantees $6.7 million to update training materials from the original Workforce Curriculum Development program funded under HITECH. In addition to updating training materials, the goal of this program is to train incumbent health care workers to use new health information technologies in a variety of settings, including: team-based care environments, long-term care facilities, patient-centered medical homes, accountable care organizations, hospitals, and clinics. This workforce program will focus on the four key topic areas of: population health, care coordination, new care delivery and payments models, and value based and patient centered care. The organizations selected to participate in this program include:

University of Alabama at Birmingham

Bellevue College, Bellevue, Washington

Columbia University, New York City, New York

Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland

Normandale Community College, Bloomington, Minnesota

Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, Oregon

The University of Texas Health Science (Houston)

More information on all of ONC's programs and initiatives can be found at www.HealthIT.gov.