HHS Pumps $144 Million into Health IT

By Roy Mark  |  Posted 2010-04-06

The Department of Health and Human Services April 5 released $144 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 to advance the widespread adoption and meaningful use of health information technology. Most of the funding will go to universities, community colleges and major research centers to advance the widespread adoption and meaningful use of health IT.

Awards totaling $84 million to 16 universities and junior colleges will support training and development of more than 50,000 new health IT professionals. Additionally, SHARP (Strategic Health IT Advanced Research Projects) awards totaling $60 million were provided to four advanced research institutions ($15 million each) to focus on solving current and future challenges that represent barriers to adoption and meaningful use of health IT.

The awards are part of the $2 billion effort to achieve widespread meaningful use of health IT and provide for the use of an EHR (electronic health record) for each person in the United States by 2014.

"Training a cadre of new health IT professionals and breaking down barriers to the adoption of meaningful use of health IT are both critical to the national effort to use information technology to realize better patient care," David Blumenthal, national coordinator for health information technology, said in a statement. "The institutions receiving awards today will develop necessary roadmaps to help health care providers and hospitals implement and effectively use electronic health records."

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