HHS Announces $267 Million in Recovery Act Funds for New Health IT Regional Extension Centers
Originally published: April 6, 2010
Last updated: November 29, 2010 - 11:38am
Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced that more than $267 million has been awarded to 28 additional non-profit organizations to establish Health Information Technology Regional Extension Centers (RECs).
This investment, funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, will help grow the emerging health information technology (health IT) industry which is expected to support tens of thousands of jobs ranging from nurses and pharmacy techs to IT technicians and trainers. RECs enable health care practitioners to reach out to a local resource for technical assistance, guidance, and information on best practices. RECs are designed to address unique community requirements and to support and accelerate provider efforts to become meaningful users of electronic health records. This round of awards, bringing the total number of REC's to 60, will provide nationwide outreach and technical support services to at least 100,000 primary care providers and hospitals within two years. The primary care provider is usually the first medical practitioner contacted by a patient. Studies have also found that primary care providers are at the forefront of practicing preventative medicine, a key to improving population health and reducing overall health costs. More than $375 million had been awarded earlier to RECs under this program.
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