HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Dr. David Blumenthal, HHS’ National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, announced $235 million in funding for a new program to bolster communities that have shown early success in the deployment of health information technology, with the idea that they can provide good examples to other communities on how to proceed.
Sebelius noted that organizations and communities that have made concentrated investments in health IT are already seeing results, and it is important for them to become models for the rest of the country.
Blumenthal said that under the Beacon Community Cooperative Agreement Program, 15 nonprofit organizations or government entities representing geographic health care communities, both urban and rural, would receive funding to accelerate their already high level of performance in demonstrating how meaningful use of health IT can benefit population health. Of the $235 million allotted for the program, $220 million will go to grants, and $15 million will be for technical assistance and evaluation.
The Beacon grants are part of the $2 billion in discretionary funding in the stimulus bill related to health IT.