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Massachusetts Gets Funds from CMS to Build Statewide HIE

August 3, 2012
by Gabriel Perna
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Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick has announced that the state is moving ahead with its statewide health information exchange (HIE), which will be built from $16.9 million in funds from the Obama administration via the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The funding will support phase one of the HIE, which will put in place a management team, governance structure, and operations staff to develop it from the ground up.

“When fully implemented, this technology will support our goals of providing high quality care while slowing the growth of costs,” Governor Patrick said in a statement. “The health care industry is a vital part of the Massachusetts economy, and I thank the Obama Administration for the continued support.”

CMS approved Massachusetts’ request for $16.9 million in funding, which comes from a combination of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act/Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (ARRA/HITECH) grant funding and Medicaid funds. Orion Health (Santa Monica, Calif.) won a competitive bid process from the Patrick administration and will build the HIE.

According to the Patrick administration, Massachusetts was the first state in the nation to receive federal funding participation approval through CMS to create a HIE. It will complement additional efforts underway to support health IT advances in the Commonwealth.

"Massachusetts has always paved the way when it comes to health care and this is another example," U.S. Senator John Kerry said in a statement. "Investing in health information technology is a smart way to create jobs, improve care, and reduce costs. This investment will create the infrastructure that doctors, insurers and patients across the state need to share information electronically in a secure environment."

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