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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Fifteen so-called Beacon Communities, expected to light the way for other regions across the country, received $220 million in grants from HHS. The establishment of the 15 cooperative agreements in designated regions "will be awarded based on merit," said Dr. David Blumenthal, national coordinator for health IT. The 15 communities, designed to serve as role models, used the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds built on existing infrastructure of interoperable health IT standards and reach into other federal programs such as the Regional Extension Center Program. "These pioneering [Beacon] communities are going to lead the way in bringing smarter, lower-cost healthcare to all Americans through use of electronic health records," said vice president Joe Biden, in a statement.