Feds Fund Secure Data Exchange Demos

15 communities to test using technology to address health challenges
Feds Fund Secure Data Exchange Demos
Fifteen communities will receive a total of $220 million in federal grants to support projects that involve the secure sharing of healthcare information among organizations. The pilot projects are designed to achieve quality improvement goals, such as improving the care of the chronically ill.

The HITECH Act , part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, is funding the Beacon Community program, which federal officials predict will create about 1,100 jobs. The pilot projects, which will include strong privacy and security measures, are designed to demonstrate how electronic health records and health information exchanges can improve health care quality, safety and efficiency, laying the groundwork for other efforts, says Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of Health and Human Services.

The list of projects includes, for example, a University of Hawaii at Hilo effort to implement a health information exchange to "utilize secure, Internet-based care coordination and telemonitoring tools to increase access to specialty care for patients with chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and obesity in this rural, health-professional shortage area."

HHS, which announced the grant winners with the White House on May 4, plans to award another $30 million in grants in the coming weeks. It received more than 130 applications.

About the Author

Howard Anderson

Howard Anderson

Former News Editor, ISMG

Anderson was news editor of Information Security Media Group and founding editor of HealthcareInfoSecurity and DataBreachToday. He has more than 40 years of journalism experience, with a focus on healthcare information technology issues. Before launching HealthcareInfoSecurity, he served as founding editor of Health Data Management magazine, where he worked for 17 years, and he served in leadership roles at several other healthcare magazines and newspapers.

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