The Obama administration is awarding $975 million in grants to help states and healthcare providers adopt health information technology.
The grant money being announced today during a 12 p.m. ET conference call comes from the economic stimulus legislation passed by Congress last year and is part of the administration's push to get doctors, hospitals and others to move from paper to computerized record-keeping. Administration officials say the grants are designed to provide savings down the road by eliminating duplicative tests and time-consuming paper work.
The White House says the awards will help make health IT available to more than 100,000 hospitals and primary-care physicians by 2014 while helping to train thousands of people for careers in healthcare and IT.
HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is awarding $386 million to 40 states or organizations selected by states to advance the exchange of health information at the state level. Sebelius is also granting $375 million to 32 nonprofits to help develop regional extension centers to assist healthcare workers on health IT issues.
Labor Secretary Hilda Solis is announcing around $225 million to support 55 training programs in 30 states to help give people job skills for the health IT field. The administration says around 15,000 people should get training.