Federal government to release $220 million in healthcare IT stimulus grants, Biden, Sebelius announce

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Vice President Joe Biden
Vice President Joe Biden

Vice President Joe Biden and Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius this week disclosed that $220 million in stimulus grants for pilot programs will be disbursed to test healthcare IT systems.

The money will be spread among 15 different communities across the country. Eastern Maine Healthcare Systems in Brewer, ME, will conduct a pilot program to attempt to “expand community connectivity, including long-term care, primary care and specialist providers, to existing Health Information Exchange and promote the use of telemedicine and patient self-management in order to improve care for elderly patients and individuals needing long-term or home care.” Other programs will use healthcare IT to manage chronic diseases, reduce racial disparities in healthcare and prevent rehospitalizations.

The grants are expected to create roughly 1,100 jobs paying an average of $70,000 per year, according to a report from Bloomberg News. The money is part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.