FCC offers $400 million to connect providers with NHIN

The Federal Communications Commission has set final plans to spend more than $400 million over the next there years to connect up providers with the up-and-coming National Health Information Network (NHIN). The monies are coming from the Universal Service Fund, which is supported by fees paid by long-distance phone companies to access local exchange carrier networks.

The grants, which expands the Rural Health Care Pilot Program, should connect 6,000 providers to the NHIN, including hospitals, clinics and public health agencies. The FCC plans to pay as much as 85 percent of the costs of constructing dedicated broadband networks within a state or region. The FCC has received 81 applications for funding from 42 states and three U.S. territories, and will begin handing out money to chosen applicants this month.

To learn more about the grants:
- read this Government Health IT piece

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