Federal initiative expands IT funding for long-term care

Long-term care providers can receive additional technology funding under a new initiative announced by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services on Wednesday.

The initiative seeks to make interoperable technology attainable for a “broader universe” of Medicaid-certified healthcare providers, CMS Acting Administrator Andy Slavitt and National Coordinator for Health Information Karen DeSalvo said in a blog post.

States will be able to request 90% enhanced matching funds from CMS to allow a greater variety of healthcare providers — including long-term care facilities, behavioral health providers and substance abuse treatment centers  — to purchase technology to connect them to the “complete circuit” of health information sharing. The funding will also help improve the sustainability of health information exchanges, CMS said.

“Adding long-term care providers, behavioral health providers, and substance abuse treatment providers, for example, to statewide health information exchange systems will enable seamless sharing of a patients' health information between doctors or other clinicians when it's needed,” the blog post reads. “This sharing helps create a more complete care team to collaborate on the best treatment plans and goals for Medicaid patients.”