Changes to the healthcare insurance status quo won and lost elections, revised and created business plans, and kept harried CIOs and their overworked staffs up at night. But it also generated opportunities for IT professionals in the healthcare industry to save their organizations time and money, reshape burdensome workflows, and improve patient care. When he was elected, President Barack Obama pledged to change healthcare insurance -- and this year marked months of debate and political hijinks
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HHS went on a spending spree in the past 12 months, donating millions in grants to help bring healthcare agencies up to high-tech speed. The agency, for example, announced $320 million in grants on September 27. In addition, it spent more than $2 million for the Telehealth Network Grant Program, which helps communities build capacity to develop sustainable telehealth programs and networks; $770,000 for the Frontier Community Health Integration Demonstration Program, whose purpose is to develop and test new models for the delivery of health care services in frontier areas by improving access to care and the integration of care delivery to Medicare beneficiaries, and $390 million in grants for hospital preparedness. In November, HHS offered grants for Early Innovators, health IT infrastructure grants designed to reward states for developing cutting edge and cost effective consumer-based technologies and models for insurance eligibility and enrollment for exchanges.