HHS awards $42M to help health centers expand HIT adoption

The Department of Health and Human Services is providing nearly $42 million in funding to support 1,183 federally funded health centers nationwide to bolster their use of IT.

The funding will be funneled through the Health Resources and Services Administration to 49 Health Center Controlled Networks, which bring together health centers across the country to address operational and clinical challenges such as the acquisition and implementation of HIT.

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“Health centers play a crucial role in providing their communities with access to high quality, affordable healthcare,” said HHS Secretary Alex Azar in a written statement. “Investing in more advanced health IT will help put patients at the center and unleash the power of data, helping us get better value from the care delivered by health centers.”

Also See: HHS awards $36M to aid health center HIT adoption

“Improvements in information technology will enhance the patient and provider experience as health centers continue to deliver high quality primary care in underserved communities across the nation,” said HRSA Administrator George Sigounas. The intent is to “support and improve the ability of health centers to work together and deliver value-based care.”

The Health Center Program, funded by HRSA, is growing. From 2016 to 2019, participation increased from 70 percent to 86 percent of HRSA-funded health centers, according to HHS.

“Today, the Health Resources and Services Administration funds nearly 1,400 health centers operating approximately 12,000 service delivery sites,” states the agency. “More than 27 million people in every U.S. state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Pacific Basin rely on HRSA-funded health centers for care.”

A list of the Fiscal Year 2019 Health Center Controlled Networks Grant Awardees can be found here.

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