The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology has awarded $38 million to continue the work of sharing information to improve and innovate care delivery and provider pay.
The money will build upon massively funded health information exchange and workforce development training programs created in the early days of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
“We have made great strides in the adoption and use of health IT,” Dr. Karen DeSalvo, head of the ONC, said in a news release.
“As we move beyond adoption to a learning health system where information is available when and where it matters most, it is important to ensure greater care coordination at the community level, and these grants provide resources to meet this goal,” DeSalvo said.
One of the most interesting initiatives the grants will fund is AcademyHealth a Washington, D.C.,-based healthcare policy shop that will work with 15 communities working to identify best practices and inform national strategy around population health challenges. But that grant is only a little more than $2 million.
The bulk of the funding, $29.6 million, will go to further support 12 statewide health information exchange programs in Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, Illinois, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina and Utah.
In 2010, the ONC released $548 million in grants and another $6 million in challenge grants to promote health information exchange organizations in all 50 states.
The latest ONC grants also include $6.7 million to update health IT workforce training materials at the University of Alabama at Birmingham; Bellevue College, Bellevue, Wash.; Columbia University, New York; Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore; Normandale Community College, Bloomington, Minn.; Oregon Health & Science University, Portland; and the University of Texas Health Science, Houston.
The round of ONC grants are not part of the funding for the EHR incentive payment program, which has already shelled out $31 billion to hospitals, office-based physicians and other eligible professionals to help them buy and meaningfully use computerized record-keeping systems.