REC & HIT Education Grants Announced

HHS Let's Grants Fly

HHS Lets Grants Fly

HHS has awarded nearly $1 billion in Recovery Act monies to help providers adopt HIT and train workers to implement and manage EMR systems. Of the over $750 million, $386 million will go to 40 states and qualified State Designated Entities (SDEs) to facilitate HIEs at the state level, while $375 million will go to an initial 32 non-profit organizations to support the development of regional extension centers (RECs) — with additional HIE and REC awards to be announced “in the near future.”

RECs are expected to provide outreach and support services to at least 100,000 primary care providers and hospitals within two years.

The more than $225 million in DOL grant awards will be used to train 15,000 people. The grants will fund 55 separate training programs in 30 states. Employment services will be available via the Department of Labor’s local One Stop Career Centers, and training will be offered at community colleges and other local education providers.

The HHS and DOL awards are part of an overall $100 billion investment in science, innovation and technology to spur domestic job creation. The health IT extension centers are expected to hire over 3,000 technology workers nationwide in the months ahead.

A complete listing of the state HIE, REC and job training grant recipients is as follows:

State HIE Awards:

State HIE Awardee

Award Amount

Alabama Medicaid Agency

$10,564,789

Arizona Governor’s Office of Economic Recovery

$9,377,000

Arkansas Dept of Finance and Administration

$7,909,401

California Health and Human Services Agency

$38,752,536

Colorado Regional Health Information Organization

$9,175,777

Delaware Health Information Network

$4,680,284

Government of the District of Columbia

$5,189,709

Georgia Department of Community Health

$13,003,003

Office of the Governor (Guam)

$1,600,000

The Hawaii Health Information Exchange

$5,602,318

Illinois Department of Health care and Family Services

$18,837,639

Kansas Health Information Exchange Project

$9,010,066

Cabinet for Health and Family Services (Kentucky)

$9,750,000

State of Maine/Governor’s Office of Health Policy & Finance

$6,599,401

Massachusetts Technology Park Corporation

$10,599,719

Michigan Department of Health

$14,993,085

Minnesota Department of Health

$9,622,000

Missouri Depart of Social Services

$13,765,040

Nevada Department of Health and Human Services

$6,133,426

New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services

$5,457,856

Lovelace Clinic Foundation, New Mexico

$7,070,441

New York eHealth Collaborative Inc.

$22,364,782

Commonwealth of the NMI, Department of Public Health

$800,000

North Carolina Department of State Treasurer

$12,950,860

Ohio Health Information Partnership LLC

$14,872,199

Oklahoma Health Care Authority

$8,883,741

Pacific Ecommerce Development Corporation (American Samoa)

$600,000

State of Oregon

$8,579,992

Governor’s Office of Health Care Reform Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

$17,140,446

Oticina del Gobernador La Fortaeza (Puerto Rico)

$7,770,980

Rhode Island Quality Institute

$5,280,000

State of Tennessee

$11,664,580

Utah Department of Health

$6,296,705

Vermont Department of Human Services

$5,034,328

Virgin Islands Department of Health

$1,000,000

Virginia Department of Health

$11,613,537

Health Care Authority (Washington)

$11,300,000

West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources

$7,819,000

Wisconsin Department of Health and Family Services

$9,441,000

Office of the Governor (Wyoming)

$4,873,000

Total Award Amount

$385,978,640

Regional Extension Center Awards:

RECs Awardee

Award Amount

Altarum Institute, Michigan

$19,619,990

Arkansas Foundation For Medical Care

$7,400,000

CIMRO of Nebraska

$6,647,371

Colorado RHIO

$12,475,000

District of Columbia Primary Care Association

$5,488,437

Fund for Public Health New York

$21,754,010

Greater Cincinnati HealthBridge (Ohio-Kentucky)

$9,738,000

Health Choice Network, Inc.,Florida

$8,500,000

HealthInsight, Utah-Nevada

$6,917,783

Iowa IFMC

$5,508,019

Kansas Foundation for Medical Care Inc.

$7,000,000

Key Health Alliance (Stratis Health), Minnesota – North Dakota

$19,000,000

Lovelace Clinic, New Mexico

$6,175,000

Massachusetts Technology Park Cooperation

$13,433,107

MetaStar, Inc, Wisconsin

$9,125,000

Morehouse School of Medicine, Inc., Georgia

$19,521,542

New York eHealth Collaborative (NYeC)

$26,534,999

University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill

$13,569,169

Northern California Regional Extension Center

$17,286,081

Northern Illinois University

$7,546,000

Northwestern University

$7,649,533

OCHIN Inc. (Primary), Oregon

$13,201,499

Ohio Health Information Partnership

$28,500,000

Oklahoma Foundation for Medical Quality, Inc.

$5,331,685

Purdue University

$12,000,000

Qsource (Tennessee)

$7,256,155

Qualis Health, Washington – Idaho

$12,846,482

Rhode Island Quality Institute

$6,000,000

Southern California Regional Extension Center

$13,961,339

Vermont Information Technology Leaders, Inc.

$6,762,080

VHQC and the Center for Innovative Technology, for The Virginia Consortium

$12,425,000

West Virginia Health Improvement Institute Inc.

$6,000,000

Total Award Amount

$375,173,281

Job Training Awards:

Healthcare / High Growth Grant Recipient

Award Amount

Calhoun Community College

$3,470,830

Mid-South Community College

$3,391,053

South Arkansas Community College

$3,520,612

Kern Community College District (KCCD)

$2,768,572

Los Rios Community College District

$4,988,561

Mt. San Antonio Community College District

$2,239,714

San Diego State University Research Foundation

$4,953,575

San Jose State University Research Foundation

$5,000,000

San Bernardino Community College District

$4,260,863

Youth Policy Institute

$3,623,473

Spanish Speaking Unity Council

$3,559,139

Otero Junior College

$4,999,350

National Council of La Raza

$3,457,516

Providence Health Foundation of Providence Hospital

$4,953,999

DeKalb Technical College (DTC)

$2,043,859

Governors State University

$4,994,686

Indianapolis Private Industry Council, Inc.

$4,885,812

Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana

$5,000,000

Iowa Workforce Development

$3,403,164

Maysville Community and Technical College

$2,007,637

Louisiana Technical College, Greater Acadiana Region 4

$4,859,040

Southern University at Shreveport

$4,296,308

Maine Department of Labor

$4,892,213

The Community College of Baltimore County (CCBC)

$4,928,654

Macomb Community College

$4,971,642

American Indian Opportunities Industrialization Center

$5,000,000

Northland Community and Technical College

$4,996,844

MN State Colleges & Universities DBA Pine Technical College

$4,230,950

South Central College

$4,506,101

The Montgomery Institute

$4,519,625

Full Employment Council

$4,998,344

Crowder College

$3,576,760

Maryville University – St. Louis

$4,699,354

University of New Hampshire

$2,944,732

Passaic County Community College

$4,475,041

Fulton Montgomery Community College (FMCC)

$2,865,657

Hudson Valley Community College (HVCC)

$3,382,200

University Behavioral Associates, Inc.

$5,000,000

Workforce Investment Board of Herkimer, Madison, and Oneida Counties

$2,700,096

Goodwill Industries, Inc., Serving E. Neb and SW Iowa

$2,007,846

Nevada Cancer Institute

$3,262,676

Berea Children’s Home

$4,927,843

BioOhio

$5,000,000

Cincinnati State Technical and Community College

$4,935,132

Columbus State Community College

$4,605,303

Enterprise for Employment and Education

$2,373,073

Trident Technical College

$2,624,532

Florence-Darlington Technical College (FDTC)

$4,346,351

The University of South Dakota

$5,000,000

Centerstone of Tennessee, Inc.

$5,000,000

North Central Texas College

$4,150,005

San Jacinto Community College District

$4,722,919

The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston (UTMB)

$4,655,799

Shenandoah Valley Workforce Investment Board, Inc. (SVWIB)

$4,951,991

Workforce Training and Education Coordinating Board

$5,000,000

Total

$226,929,446

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Comments

  1. Great summary Anthony. Each time I think there are no surprises left, out comes another, and for some reason the those surprising me think that the best surprises require three commas and nine zeros.

    The thing that no longer surprises me is that their largesse always seems to come without a plan, standards, guidance, or accountability.

    Providers have little if any assurance that their EHR efforts will be met with any success. Why? Because their individual attempts at implementing EHR are being undertaken by the unique framework developed by each provider.

    There is no defined target, no concrete way to know if in fact their efforts will hit the target. Where do we lack clarity?Certification. Meaningful Use. Standards. HIEs. N-HIN.

    Is there a unified detailed plan describing what the RECS are to do and how they are to do it, or is each REC expected to develop their own plan to add value? If it is up to them, does that bring the leadership and clarity that is needed, or does it further confuse the situation.

    For the RECs to add value, it seems that at a minimum there should be:

    * an articulated definition of the areas where the providers need help
    * a list of the skills the RECs need to deliver the services
    * a list of the tasks the RECs need to deliver the services

    In an industry whose subject matter expertise is fifty percent below what is needed, from where will the resources come?

    What else could be done with a billion dollars? How about paying however many EHR vendors comprise 90% of the market to agree to a set of standards, refit their applications to those standards, and convert their installed base. Wouldn’t that do a lot more towards making interoperability viable?

  2. Gerry Higgins says:

    It is of great interest to see who is receiving the awards – thank-you Anthony. I agree with much of what Paul Roemer has said, except for his last suggestion. Paying EHR vendors would only accelerate the acquisition of the many players in this marketplace by large IT companies like IBM, HP, Google, etc, IMHO.

    I see a problem in not providing funding for any HIT initiatives that are addressing the education of physicians, and especially the looming challenges associated with the revolution in genomics and pharmacogenomics directly related to clinical care.

    This seems like funding for job creation without first defining where the education is most critically needed.

    It is also of interest to see that many of the RECs have significant lobbying representation here on Capital Hill.

  3. $225 million in Training Grants: Will We Get Our Money’s Worth?

    A comment on the last set of awards: the Healthcare High Growth grants. The overarching goal of ARRA was to stimulate the economy and to help create jobs, but a quick review of the grant recipients and their websites raises questions in my mind as to the efficacy of this strategy, at least in this instance.

    If we are to meet the goals of HITECH and the Obama administration’s HIT adoption objectives, tens of thousands of physician practices, thousands of hospitals, thousands of other healthcare service providers, hundreds of health information exchanges and dozens of vendor companies will need tens of thousands of additional staff. Even before ARRA, the shortage of skilled personnel was acute and will only grow more acute if the level of HIT implementation activity increases, as expected, over the next several years.

    To meet this need, the industry will demand that successful candidates possess not just IT skills, but also at least fundamental – sometimes even advanced — knowledge of clinical practice, terminology and workflows. So the key question is whether the jobs that need to be filled can be filled with those these programs are likely to produce.

    Frankly, I doubt it. We need thousands of systems analysts, business analysts, system architects and implementation specialists with clinical and technical knowledge; we need thousands of physicians and nurses to augment their efforts and work with the physicians, nurses and other clinicians whose participation and commitment to these goals is essential for this journey to be successful. Where will these resources come from, the local community college? Unlikely.

  4. Marc, your comments are spot on! Bill Hersh shred these same concerns http://informaticsprofessor.blogspot.com/2009/10/what-level-of-training-is-needed-for.html and I think we are on the edge of a cliff with workforce development. On the bright side, maybe I will be able to hang onto my job in a tough economy :-)

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