Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell announced on Thursday the award of more than $87 million in funding for 1,310 health centers in every U.S. state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and the Pacific Basin.
This funding comes from the Affordable Care Act’s Community Health Center (CHC) Fund, which was extended with bipartisan support in the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA) of 2015.
It will support health information technology enhancements to accelerate health centers’ transition to value-based models of care, improve efforts to share and use information to support better decisions, and increase engagement in delivery system transformation, according to HHS.
“Health centers across the country are instrumental in providing high-quality, comprehensive primary health care to millions of people,” said Secretary Burwell. “This investment will help unlock health care data and put it to work, improving health outcomes and building a better health care system for the American people.”
To support these goals, all purchases or upgrades of electronic health record systems made with the funding must use technology that is certified by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology.
This is the first significant investment since 2009 directly awarded to health centers to support the purchase of health information technology.