$600M budgeted for community health centers

The Obama Administration has set plans to spend $600 million to improve the nation's community health centers, including a boost for medical records systems. The funding came from the $787 billion stimulus plan's provisions for creating jobs at 85 community health centers.

The administration will spend about $509 million to repair, rebuild or replace jaded community health center facilities, which serve more than 17 million patients. Officials also expect to spend $88 million to help community health centers upgrade to electronic medical records and other health information technologies. The changes should help the centers care for more than 500,000 additional patients in underserved communities.

As part of the same announcement, President Obama asked HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to begin a three-year trial on how community health centers might improve care for Medicare patients. As many as 500 centers may participate in the initiative.

To get more information on the announcement:
- check out this Reuters article
- read this Associated Press article

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