Government to give nearly $1.2 billion in grants for electronic health record adoption

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The U.S. government plans to release nearly $1.2 billion in stimulus grants next year to help healthcare providers set up and use electronic health records. 

The grants include $598 million to set up about 70 health information technology centers to help healthcare providers acquire systems. The remaining $564 million will help develop a nationwide system of health information networks. The grants will be funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The long-term care community has been actively working to prepare for the adoption of EHRs.

"Expanding the use of electronic health records is fundamental to reforming our healthcare system," said Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius Thursday, unveiling the grants with Vice President Joseph Biden in Chicago.