INDIANAPOLIS, May 4 /PRNewswire/ -- With today's announcement of a new $16 million federal "Beacon Communities" grant for Central Indiana, Indiana's leadership in health information technology (HIT) has now attracted $49.5 million in total federal funding under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).
The latest grant comes through the Beacon Communities Cooperative Agreement Program administered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Under this grant, a wide range of hospitals, physician groups and patients across Central Indiana will see enhanced information connectivity, reductions in unnecessary tests and hospital visits, and improved preventive care for such chronic conditions as diabetes and coronary artery disease through the meaningful and secure use of electronically communicated and privacy protected patient information.
The $16 million in Beacon Communities funding, one of 15 highly competitive grants awarded under the ARRA, was awarded to a consortium led by the Indiana Health Information Exchange (IHIE), Indiana's largest and one of the nation's most successful health information exchanges linking scores of hospitals, thousands of physicians and millions of patients through a secure, privacy protected network.
IHIE was formed in 2004 through an unprecedented collaboration facilitated by BioCrossroads and including leading healthcare providers, research institutions, physicians' groups and public agencies. Success under the Beacon Communities grant program, to be measured by ambitious, quantitative milestones, will advance IHIE's efforts to serve as a national model for the growing health information exchange, quality and wellness programs that promise to transform the practice of American healthcare for the 21st Century.
"One of BioCrossroads' top priorities has always been to seize and then build upon Indiana's impressive strengths in the communication and analysis of clinical information for better healthcare today and healthier patients tomorrow," said David L. Johnson, President and CEO of BioCrossroads. "This latest Beacon Communities award is especially important, because it shows national recognition for something we've known here all along: that Indiana is the leader in health information technology, and IHIE is putting that HIT leadership to work to drive better health outcomes here in Indiana and across the United States."
BioCrossroads, Indiana's public-private collaboration for investment, development and advancement of the state's signature life sciences strengths, has collaborated with and provided support to each organization submitting HIT-related grant applications for federal funding.
Last month, the ARRA's State Health Information Exchange Cooperative Agreement Program (SHIECAP) announced the award of a $10.3 million grant to the State of Indiana. Under this grant, Indiana and its current network of five health information organizations, including IHIE, will work together to develop statewide health information exchange capabilities through a new state-chartered non-profit entity, Indiana Health Information Technology, Inc.
In February, Indiana received more than $20 million in additional funding for HIT-related programs through the ARRA. Purdue University received a $12 million competitive award to advance the development of a university-based regional extension center program for health information technology; Ivy Tech received a $5 million competitive award to provide accelerated training for an HIT-skilled workforce; and the Indianapolis Public Industry Council received $4.8 million for training of nurses and allied health professionals in HIT.
Indiana University also received $1.4 million from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for other, university-based HIT training programs in April.
To promote the state's collective assets and national leadership in HIT, in 2009 BioCrossroads launched Exibhit Indiana (Expanding Indiana's Breakthroughs in Health Information Technology), an ongoing initiative focused on cataloging and catalyzing the development and effective use of HIT within Indiana and across the U.S.
BioCrossroads (www.biocrossroads.com) is Indiana's initiative to grow, advance and invest in the life sciences, a public-private collaboration that supports the region's existing research and corporate strengths while encouraging new business development. BioCrossroads provides money and support to life sciences businesses, launches new life sciences enterprises (Indiana Health Information Exchange, Fairbanks Institute for Healthy Communities, BioCrossroadsLINX, and Datalys Center), expands collaboration and partnerships among Indiana's life science institutions, promotes science education and markets Indiana's life sciences industry.