HHS announced it has awarded more than $267 million to 28 not-for-profit organizations, which will now be designated as health information technology regional extension centers, or RECs.
Funding for the centers came from the $2 billion allotted to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, also known as the stimulus law. This is the second wave of REC awards; HHS announced $375 million in funds for 32 centers in February, bringing the new total to 60.
The extension centers will provide a local source of support and information for providers as they implement electronic health records and attempt to meet meaningful-use requirements, said David Blumenthal, national coordinator for health IT.
The 60 centers will reach providers in 95% of the country, Blumenthal said in a conference call. They will vary their approaches based on the needs of providers in their communities and will assist in all phases of EHR adoption.