Stimulus Bill Releases $1 Billion for Electronic Healthcare Records

Federal government provides first $1 billion installment of $19 billion for electronic healthcare record funding.  The Obama administration has released approximately $1 billion from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act stimulus bill. The money is a downpayment on funding access to health information technology for more than 100,000 hospitals and primary-care physicians.  Another goal is to train people for careers in healthcare and information technology.  A total of $19 billion for healthcare information is contained in the stimulus bill.

Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced that $750 million of the initial $1 billion will be used to help hospitals and physicians convert to electronic health records.  “We are at a point in the United States where only 20 percent of doctors and 10 percent of hospitals have even basic electronic health records,” Sebelius said in a teleconference.  “These grant awards, the first of their kind, will help develop our electronic infrastructure and give doctors and other healthcare providers the support they need as they adopt this powerful technology.”

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