More than $983,000 in federal grants will help rural hospitals and clinics in three states implement telemedicine and electronic health records systems to link to Veterans Administration hospitals for online consultations.

The joint initiative of the VA and the Department of Health and Human Services is part of VA’s program, launched in May 2011, to considerably expand its telemedicine capabilities. The goal is to support 1.2 million consultations annually when fully implemented.

Virginia, Montana and Alaska, which have the highest concentration of veterans, will share the funds. The Health Resources and Services Administration administers the grants.

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