HHS Announces $84 Million in Workforce Training
On April 2 the Department of Health and Human Services announced $84 million in grants to universities and junior colleges to support training and development of new health IT professionals.
HHS awarded $36 million to five regional recipients that will establish Community College Consortia throughout the country. The consortia of 70 community colleges will create nondegree training programs that can be completed in six months or less.
Five schools received $10 million in grants to create Curriculum Development Centers, which will establish educational materials for key health IT topics to be used by the members of the Community College Consortia. Oregon Health and Science University received an additional award to serve as a national training and dissemination center.
Northern Virginia Community College received a $6 million contract to support the development and initial administration of a set of health IT competency examinations. The examinations will assess basic competency for individuals trained through short-duration, nondegree health IT programs and for members of the workforce with relevant experience who are seeking to demonstrate their competency in certain health IT workforce roles.
In addition, HHS awarded nine universities with $32 million to develop university-based training programs to increase the availability of individuals qualified to serve in health IT roles requiring university-level training.
Funding was made available through the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which added a number of funding opportunities to advance health IT.
Grant recipients included programs accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education (CAHIIM), including Cuyahoga Community College district, Pitt Community College, Tidewater Community College, Texas State University, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Northern Virginia Community College, and Oregon Health and Science University.
AHIMA is participating in the contract to develop the health IT competency examinations.