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HHS Awards $87M for Value-based Care Health IT Adoption

By boosting health IT adoption, HHS hopes to drive value-based care in health centers across the nation.

By Sara Heath

The Department of Health & Human Services has awarded over $87 million in funding to improve health IT systems in 1,310 health centers across the nation, including in Washington DC, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and in the Pacific Basin.

According to an HHS press release, this funding will directly fund health IT initiatives to boost value-based care models, improve health data interoperability, and increase engagement with the healthcare delivery system.

HHS says all health technologies purchased through these grants must be certified by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT.

Ultimately, HHS intends for this funding to help improve the overall quality of care offered in health centers.

“These awards will allow health centers to deliver higher quality of care to patients and spend health care dollars in a smarter way,” said Jim Macrae, Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Acting Administrator.

This is especially important considering the vast number of patients health centers serve. There are 1,400 health centers in over 9,800 sites across the nation, and they treat nearly 24 million individuals. According to HHS Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell, it is critical that health centers be equipped with the tools to provide better, value-based healthcare.

“Health centers across the country are instrumental in providing high-quality, comprehensive primary health care to millions of people,” said HHS Secretary Sylvia M. 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.”

This funding comes from the Affordable Care Act’s Community Health Center Fund, which was recently expanded in the MACRA legislation. According to HHS, this funding is a part of the agency’s larger mission to achieve the triple aim to achieve better care, better spending, and healthier patients.

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