The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology in February will make the first set of grant awards available to regional health information technology extension centers under a $598 million program authorized under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

That's according to a notice ONC published on Feb. 2 in the Federal Register. The initial awards are a little behind schedule; National Coordinator David Blumenthal in early December said about 30 grants would be awarded in February with the remainder in March. The centers will provide technical assistance and disseminate best practices to physician practices and hospitals wishing to adopt electronic health records.

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