The Bureau of Primary Health Care is providing additional funding of nearly $12 million to 37 Health Center Controlled Networks (HCCNs), which provide services to community health centers across the country, including the acquisition and implementation of health IT.

The funds being awarded will continue HCCNs grants for 8 months to create one funding cycle—without which a lapse in funding may jeopardize health IT implementation underway at health centers receiving technical assistance.

HCCNs are collaborations of three or more individual health centers. Within the networks, individual health centers work together to share resources, leverage buying power (e.g. discounted software), enhance access to information and promote guidelines on best practices, as well as provide support for achieving quality of care and operational goals.

The Bureau of Primary Health Care is part of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), whose goal is that all Health Center Program awardees will: acquire and effectively implement certified electronic health record technology to enable all eligible providers to become meaningful users of EHRs as defined by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services; access EHR incentive program payments; and enhance data reporting and technology-enabled quality improvement activities.

Also See: RECs Support More Than 100,000 Providers to Achieve MU

In a separate Federal Register notice, HRSA announced additional funding of almost $44.5 million—without competition—to 115 Health Center Program awardees whose budget period ends October 31, 2015, for up to 4 months.

Currently, the Health Center Program funds nearly 1,300 health centers that operate approximately 9,000 service delivery sites in every state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and the Pacific Basin. In 2013, more than 21 million patients received primary health care services through the Health Center Program awardees.

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