After issuing the nationwide health IT Interoperability Roadmap draft late last week, the ONC today announced it will invest $28 million to advance the adoption and use of interoperable health IT tools and services to support the exchange of health information. These investments will improve care coordination, which in turn will help achieve the goal of better care, smarter spending, and healthier people.
Grant Program Overview
The two-year grant program will provide between 10 to 12 awards made in the form of cooperative agreements to states, territories, or state designated entities (SDE) to continue work under the same intent as the original State Health Information Exchange (HIE) Program.
A key goal of the grant program is to enable send, receive, find, and use health information in a manner that is appropriate, secure, timely, and reliable for both sender and receiver. Examples of potential use cases include:
– long-term care provider’s ability to access lab results or radiological films after a patient was discharged from a hospital
– linking the state’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Plan
“Through this funding opportunity, grantees will continue to leverage the investments and lessons learned from the earlier Health Information Exchange Programs to advance the standardized, secure, and interoperable movement of health information across organizations, vendors, and geographic boundaries. Grantees will address interoperability workflow challenges, technical issues, and improve the meaningful use of clinical data from external sources. Providers will be engaged from across the entire care continuum, including those who are not eligible for the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs such as long term care facilities, to be able to send, receive, find, and use health information both within and outside their care delivery systems,said Karen DeSalvo, M.D., national coordinator for health IT in a blog post.”
“Grantees will have flexibility to work with other clinical and non-clinical care givers in various settings across the entire care continuum to support a more comprehensive, integrated patient record or care plan. There is a critical need to provide technical assistance services that support health information exchange of a common clinical data set to improve care coordination, DeSalvo said.”
Recipients of the new awards will work on projects to expand care coordination throughout the nation for providers that will enable them to focus on providing patient-centered care.