HHS and ONCHIT are making available $235 million to support a Beacon Community Program which will include $220 million “to build and strengthen health IT infrastructure and HIE capabilities,” including privacy and security measures for data exchange, within 15 communities.
An additional $15 million will be provided for technical assistance to the communities and to evaluate the success of the program.
Cooperative agreements will be awarded to 15 qualified non-profit organizations or government entities representing diverse geographic areas, including rural and underserved communities. To qualify for the Beacon Community Program, applicants are expected to:
- Build off of existing health IT infrastructure and exchange to demonstrate care and cost savings;
- Have rates of EHR adoption that are significantly higher than published national estimates; and,
- Coordinate with recently announced ONCHIT programs for Regional Extension Centers and State Health Information Exchange.
Information about cooperative agreement applications will be available shortly at http://HealthIT.HHS.gov/.