HHS Announces Final Regional Extension Centers

The Department of Health and Human Services announced the final round of regional extension center grants April 6. More than $267 million was awarded to 28 nonprofit organizations to form the health information technology support centers.

A total of 60 RECs have now received funding. During the first round of awards in February, HHS issued $375 million to 32 organizations.

The RECs are charged with providing health IT outreach and technical support services to 100,000 primary care providers and hospitals within two years.

The centers will offer technical assistance, guidance, and information to support and accelerate providers’ IT efforts and help them become meaningful users of electronic health record systems.

HHS expects the first of the RECs to be fully operational by mid-2010. The grants were funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

Part of the program’s goal is to grow the health IT industry, which is expected to support tens of thousands of jobs ranging from nurses to IT technicians and trainers.

The entire list of grant recipients is available on the HHS site.

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