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Iowa to receive grant money for EHR implementation


By Joe Carlson
Posted: November 24, 2009 - 11:00 am ET
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Iowa has become the first state in the nation to have its Medicaid program chosen to receive funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 to assess implementation of electronic health records and personal health records.

Iowa's Medicaid program will receive a grant of $1.16 million in federal matching funds through the CMS, which is awarding grants to states to assess EHR readiness and awareness among their Medicaid providers. The money will go toward activities to plan for the adoption of EHRs, including efforts to promote interoperability and "meaningful use" of the records and identifying barriers to adoption. The stimulus law provides 90% of the funds needed to administer the grants to providers, including auditing.

The grant funding will also go toward assessing expectations for PHR technology. Unlike EHRs, which are maintained by providers, PHRs are managed directly by the consumer.

“While Iowa is the first state to receive approval of its plan for implementing the recovery act's EHR incentive program, a number of other states have submitted plans as well,” said Cindy Mann, director of the CMS' Center for Medicaid and State Operations, in a news release.

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