Government // Leadership
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9/11/2009
11:55 AM
Mitch Wagner
Mitch Wagner
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Getting Your Hands On ARRA Cash

The coordinators for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 have a lot of money to give out--$44 billion to be precise--and healthcare IT managers can improve their odds of getting it by making their applications broad and simple, according to the chairman of the Healthcare Information Technology Standards Panel.

The coordinators for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 have a lot of money to give out--$44 billion to be precise--and healthcare IT managers can improve their odds of getting it by making their applications broad and simple, according to the chairman of the Healthcare Information Technology Standards Panel.HITSP chairman John Halamka provided tips for healthcare providers looking to tap into federal ARRA funds, and guidance on the future of ARRA, in a video on Healthcare IT News.

The ARRA economic stimulus package includes $19 billion for Medicaire and Medicaide, and $2 billion discretionary funding that the Office of the National Coordinator will allocate, Halamka said in the video. The funds comprise $598 million to fund about 70 regional centers to provide technical assistance and support for implementing Electronic Health Records, as well as $564 million in state grants to share information nationwide.

Much of the funding will be distributed to states, and so healthcare providers can best win the funding by putting together coalitions of multiple groups with braod missions. "Since ONC is looking for coordination and overall collaboration, coming up with one single point of entry for the state will give your application the best chance," Halamka said.

Specific requirements for getting the funding are being set quickly. "I have great confidence that by 2010 we'll all have the guidance we need to get doctors and hospitals using these technologies in a meaningful way and ultimately impacting the quality of care we deliver," Halamka said.

The video runs about 12 minutes and starts 8 seconds from the beginning.

Halamka is CIO of Harvard Medical School. HITSP is a partnership between government and private industry for developing healthcare technology standards for clinical and business needs. Directors include representatives of IEEE, Kaiser Permanente, various industry groups, Blue Cruss Blue Shield, Deloitte Consulting, and various federal agencies including the Department of Defense.

InformationWeek has published an in-depth report on e-health and the federal stimulus package. Download the report here (registration required).

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