HHS has awarded $267.6 million in grants to establish 28 regional extension centers with the purpose of helping physician practices and smaller hospitals adopt EMRs and work toward achieving "meaningful use." With this second round of funding, the department now has designated all 60 such extension centers.
The first batch of centers, announced in February, will begin recruiting employees and signing up physicians in need of EMR adoption assistance within the next two weeks, Dr. Farzad Mostashari, senior advisor to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, says, according to Government Health IT. ONC first must approve plans for the first 32 centers, something Mostashari says should start to happen in the next week or so.
"We've emphasized that they have to focus on providing services that are custom-made for providers in their area," Mostashari says. "There could be some web-based outreach, but it also needs to be personal contact and communication because we want to make sure that every provider has a host of services for what they need to get going."