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September 2009 St@teside

Funding for Health Information Technology Announced

On August 20, 2009 the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced the availability of nearly $1.2 billion that had been set aside in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) to promote the development of health information exchanges (HIE) and the use of health information technology (HIT) by health care providers.  The agency set aside $564 million to support planning and implementation by states (or state designated entities) to organize and maintain HIEs; awards can range from $4 million to $40 million over four years.  In addition, $598 million will be made available in fiscal year 2010 for HIT Regional Extension Centers that will offer technical assistance, guidance, and information for providers seeking to utilize HIT and comply with meaningful use standards.

The state funding will take the form of cooperative agreements to establish policies, services, and business operations for HIEs over a four-year period.  States can work together to establish multi-state HIEs.  They can also build on existing state and regional HIEs with the goal of nationwide interoperability.

The letter of intent from states was due September 11, 2009.  The full application is due October 16, and the awards will be announced December 15, 2009.  For the Regional Extension Centers, there will be three application cycles.  Preliminary applications for each round are due September 8, December 22, and June 1, 2010.