Upcoming Federal Grant for Health System Infrastructure

Joe Biden, US Vice President, announced the upcoming federal grant for health system infrastructure. Beginning October 1, there will be a total of $1.162 billion to begin the creation of infrastructure needed for hospitals to use and implement electronic health records.

Hospitals and other providers of health care will begin to implement electronic health records and use the $1.162 billion grants promised by the federal government.

According to a press announcement from the White House, the grants will be funded by ARRA (American Recovery Reinvestment Act of 2009) to be used by health care providers such as doctors and hospitals who will qualify for it. The Recovery Act provides Medicaid and Medicare incentive payments to increase the adoption of EHR Technology. However, the providers must prove that they’re using a certified EHR system to receive the payment incentives.

The trouble is the vague definition of the qualification. ARRA says these health care providers will only qualify if they “use certified EHR Technology in a very meaningful manner.” The term “meaningful manner” was not explained. Meaningful to whom – is it for the patients, doctors, or government? Ultimately, Health IT Policy Committee intervened and said, “EHRs are linked in order to achieve measurable outcomes in population health, care coordination, and patient engagement.”

In an announcement, Vice President Biden said, “We’re making health more efficient and safer as we make you healthier and save money along the way through the use of electronic health records. These are the necessities we need for good healthcare in today’s 21st century.” Out of the grant fund, $598 million will provide clinicians and hospitals with hands-on technical training while $564 million will be given to support information sharing mechanisms.

1 Comment

  • Michael Esprit said on May 31, 2012
    I would like to know if funding is available for a startup to offer EHR services to smaller practices?


    (All the above fields are required.)