HHS awards $36 million to improve health center IT

interoperability

The Department of Health and Human Services has awarded $36 million to increase information sharing through 50 health center controlled networks (HCCNs).

The awards are expected to aid more than 1,020 health centers in 41 states and Puerto Rico. These health centers provide preventive and primary health care to patients, regardless of their ability to pay.

The networks promote enhanced information sharing and help health centers meet requirements of the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record Incentive Programs. They also aid centers in adopting EHRs, and in integrating data from myriad sources, analysis and reporting for quality improvement initiatives and health information exchange.

“By using these networks, individual health centers can work together to share resources, leverage buying power, and improve access to health information technology, leading to a better care experience for vulnerable populations,” HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell said an announcement.

Following a 2014 report from the HHS Office of Inspector General found that HCCN grantees were making uneven progress in their EHR capabilities, the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) announced it would seek progress reports on efforts to meet key goals.

To learn more:
- read the announcement

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