HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced almost $28 million in grants for more than twenty health centers to implement or improve their electronic health records technology. This funding is allotted from the $2 billion set aside for Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) health centers in the ARRA. HRSA health centers provide medical services for the uninsured and low-income individuals.
According to the HHS press release:
Eighteen grants totaling more than $22.6 million will support EHR implementation. Grants totaling more than $2.6 million will help four grantees implement a variety of HIT innovations, including the creation of health information exchanges among different providers and the incorporation of HIT at dental delivery sites. Another five grants totaling over $2.5 million will help health centers devise plans to use existing EHRs to improve patient health outcomes.
HRSA received $2 billion through the Recovery Act to expand health care services to low-income and uninsured individuals through its health center program. To date, more than $1.3 billion of these funds have been awarded to community-based organizations across the country. HRSA-supported health centers treated 17 million patients in 2008, 40 percent of whom have no health insurance.