HHS to Distribute $20M in Technical Support to Rural Hospitals, Critical Access Facilities

Health & Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has announced approximately $20 million in federal grants will be dispersed to help critical access and rural hospital facilities convert from paper-based to certified electronic health records, according to an HHS news release.

The federal funding will be awarded to 46 regional extension centers in 41 states and the nationwide Indian Country, which will provide technical support to a total of 1,655 critical access and rural hospitals looking to adopt meaningful use of EHRs. The funding is part of the Critical Access Hospitals and Rural Hospitals Project, a priority for the regional extension center program that aims to provide technical support specifically to critical access and rural hospitals with fewer than 50 beds.

Under the HITECH Act, the critical access and rural hospitals can obtain substantial incentive payments from Medicare and Medicaid upon adopting and demonstrating meaningful use of EHRs.

Read the HHS news release about the grant money for critical access and rural hospitals.

Read other coverage about regional extension centers:

- Survey Suggests Healthcare Providers Slow to Sign Contracts With Regional Extension Centers

- Office of National Coordinator Setting Measures for New Beacon Communities

- Blumenthal: Federal Health IT Funding to Create 50,000 Jobs in Next 5 Years

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