HHS awards $83.9M to boost health IT

By Bernie Monegain
11:03 AM

HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced Thursday $83.9 million in grants to 45 organizations to help networks of health centers adopt electronic health records and other health information technology systems.

The funds are part of the $2 billion allotted to HHSHealth Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 to expand health care services to low-income and uninsured individuals through its health center program.

“We need health information technology to bring our health care system into the 21st century,” said Sebelius. “This essential technology improves the quality of care we all receive and helps make care more efficient.”

Forty-five grants will support new and enhanced EHR implementation projects as well as HIT innovation projects.  Funds will allow grantees to use EHR technology to improve health care quality, efficiency, and patient safety.  Eligible professionals practicing within health centers who are able to demonstrate meaningful use of certified EHR technology may be eligible for incentive payments provided under Medicaid and Medicare.

“These funds will help safety net providers acquire state-of-the-art health information technology systems as they work to provide quality health care to millions of people in need,” said HRSA Administrator Mary Wakefield.

Health Center Controlled Networks (HCCNs) improve the operational effectiveness and clinical quality in health centers by providing management, financial, technology and clinical support services. The networks, comprised of at least three collaborating organizations, are community-based groups that support HRSA-funded health centers that provide primary health care to nearly 19 million patients – a number expected to double over the next five years as health reform is implemented.

A list of the grant recipients is on the next page.

The receiving organizations and their grant amounts:

  • Whatley Health Services, Inc, Tuscaloosa, Ala.- $645,875
  • Alaska Primary Care Association, Inc., Anchorage, Alaska- $567,891
  • Dena' Nena' Henash - Tanana Chiefs Conference,Fairbanks, Alaska, $1 million
  • El Rio Santa Cruz Neighborhood Health Center,Tucson, Ariz., $1 million
  • Golden Valley Health Center,Merced, Calif.,$2,998,013
  • Association of Asian/Pacific Community Health Organizations,Oakland, Calif., $1 million
  • Redwood Community Health Network, Petaluma, Calif., $2,079,598
  • Family Health Centers of San Diego, Inc, San Diego, Calif., $3 million
  • Community Access HCCN, LLC, San Francisco, $2,519,875
  • Community Health Center Network, San Leandro, Calif. $3 million
  • Alliance For Rural Community Health, Ukiah Calif., $866,031
  • Clinicas del Camino Real, Inc, Ventura, Calif., $3 million
  • Colorado Community Managed Care Network, Denver, $1 million
  • Southbridge Med. Advisory Council, Inc., Wilmington, Del., $558,114
  • Health Choice Network, Inc., Miami, $2,990,887
  • Community Health Centers Alliance, Inc., Saint Petersburg, Fla, $3 million
  • Erie Family Health Center, Inc, Chicago, $999,998
  • Near North Health Service Corporation, Chicago, $2,998,849
  • Illinois Primary Care Association, Springfield, Ill., $3 million
  • Community Health Integrated Partnership, Inc., Glen Burnie, Md., $2,912,404
  • Boston HealthNet, Boston, $2,986,872
  • Northern Minnesota Network, Isanti, Minn., $2,452,568
  • Coastal Family Health Center, Inc., Biloxi, Minn., $2,987,714
  • Missouri Coalition for Primary Health Care, Jefferson City, Mo., $1 million
  • St. Louis Integrated Health Network, St. Louis, Mo., $1million
  • One World Community Health Centers, Omaha Neb., $1,511,083
  • Community Health Access Network, Inc., Newmarket, N.H., $1,106,358
  • Southern Jersey Family Medical Centers, Inc., Hammonton, N.J., $3 million
  • New Mexico Primary Care Association, Albuquerque, N.M., $2,011,000
  • Charles B. Wang Community Health Center, Inc., New York, $994,800
  • Community Health Care Association of New York State, New York, $2,999,983
  • The Institute for Family Health, New York, $825,709
  • Finger Lakes Migrant Health Care Project, Inc., Penn Yan, N.Y., $997,832
  • OCHIN Inc., Portland, Oregon, $3 million
  • Health Federation of Philadelphia, Philadelphia, $327,169
  • East Bay Community Action Program ,Newport, R.I. $1,574,074
  • Community Health Network, Oakdale,Tenn., $2,110,936
  • Texas Association of Community Health Center, Austin,Texas, $982,587
  • Lone Star Circle of Care, Georgetown, Texas$2,987,610
  • Barrio Comprehensive Family Health Care Center, Inc.San Antonio,Texas$2,909,072
  • Wasatch Homeless Health Care, Inc.,Salt Lake City ,$585,000
  • Southwest Virginia Community Health Systems, Inc., Saltville,Va., $1,826,240
  • Bi-State Primary Care Association,Montpelier,Vt., $2,226,278
  • PTSO of Washington, Seattle, $1,361,093
  • Wisconsin Primary Health Care Association, Madison, Wis., $1 million