Health insurer UnitedHealth Group will purchase $10 million in bonds to assist critical access hospitals in California to enhance their information technology capabilities.

The Minneapolis-based payer first will provide a $200,000 grant to the California State Rural Health Association to assess the I.T. needs at the state's 31 critical access hospitals. These are facilities with a maximum of 25 beds and located in a rural area at least 35 miles from another hospital, or 15 miles from another hospital in mountainous terrain or areas with only secondary roads.

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