HHS is distributing $220 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds to 15 communities to pilot test the adoption of emerging health information technology.
These Beacon Community awards are part of a $2 billion effort to achieve widespread meaningful use of health IT, providing each person in the U.S. with access to an electronic health record by 2014.
The pilot “will offer insight into how health IT can make a real difference in the delivery of healthcare … and tap the best ideas across America and demonstrate the enormous benefit health IT will have to improving health and care within our communities,” said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius in a written statement.
Sebelius was scheduled to publicly announce the funds with Vice President Joe Biden later today.
The selected communities will use various health IT resources as a foundation to bring providers, community health programs, federal programs and patients together to design new methods of improving quality and efficiency to benefit patients and taxpayers. The pilots are also expected to support tens of thousands of jobs in the health IT industry, according to the announcement from Sebelius and Biden.
Each community has selected specific and measurable improvement goals in three areas for health systems improvement: quality, cost efficiency and population health.
Another $30 million is currently available to fund additional Beacon Community cooperative agreement awards. An announcement to apply will be made in the near future.