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Michael Petruzzelli

, National Council for Mental Wellbeing

HHS Announces Grant Opportunities for Interoperable Health IT

February 24, 2015 | Health Information Technology | Comments
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A new funding opportunity from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) would offer states a chance to build and advance health information technology services in their community-based health organizations. The funding opportunity for states – the Advance Interoperable Health Information Technology Services to Support Health Information Exchanges – specifically targets organizations that did not receive EHR incentive payments through the HITECH Act in 2009 and have so far been kept out of the EHR incentive program, including behavioral health organizations.

The goal of the two-year, $28 million investment is to advance the exchange of health information and improve care coordination among the populations where health IT currently lags behind national trends. The grants will fund education for organizations about available technologies, the implementation of an EHR, and training and technical services on how to send, receive, find and use health information.

The grant application requires states to select at least one incentive-eligible and two non-incentive-eligible providers (specifically naming behavioral health organizations) in their states to receive these training, technical assistance and implementation services. Awards to states will range from $1 to $3 million over the two-year period. The deadline for applications from states is Monday, April 6, 2015.

This grant opportunity is one of three being offered by HHS and the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) for Health Information Technology as part of their commitment to achieving interoperability as described in the Shared Nationwide Interoperability Roadmap.