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ONC Announces $28 Million in Grant Funding to Achieve Interoperability

Laura Joszt
During remarks at the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology Annual Meeting 2015, HHS Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell announced a new funding opportunity to achieve interoperability.
During remarks at the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) Annual Meeting 2015, HHS Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell announced a new funding opportunity to achieve interoperability.

HHS is making $28 million in grant funding available to increase the adoption interoperability and the use of services to support to support the exchange of health information. There will be 10 to 12 new awards available.

“As part of the program, we seek to enable send, receive, find, and use health information in a manner that is appropriate, secure, timely, and reliable for both sender and receiver,” National Coordinator Karen B. DeSalvo, MD, MPH, MSc, and Ahmed E. Haque, director of the office of programs and engagement at ONC, wrote in a joint blog post.

Some of the examples they highlight as potential uses that could fall into the definition of the program include things being done already around the country, such as in Colorado where a long-term care provider accessing lab results for a patient after discharge from the hospital or how Maryland has linked the state’s Prescription Drug Monitoring Plan.

“It’s time to free up that data which had previously been trapped and unavailable for use so patients and providers can have access to their information when and where they need it,” Ms Burwell said at the meeting.

Grantees will be expected to address interoperability workflow challenges and technical issues, as well as improve the meaningful use of clinical data from external sources. The entire care continuum, including those not eligible for the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Record Incentive Programs, will be engaged to send, receive, find, and use health information.

“These investments will support interoperable exchange of health information and increase connectivity of a variety of data sources to improve care coordination, which will help us achieve the goal of better care, smarter spending, and healthier people,” Dr DeSalvo and Mr Haque wrote.

 
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