The Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. was recently notified by the Health Resources and Services Administration that a federal grant amounting to $300,000 has been approved for the Commonwealth.
Corporation CEO Juan N. Babauta confirmed receiving the notice of approval. The financial assistance covers the period of Sept. 1, 2012, through Aug. 31, 2013.
The grant, which is for the project titled Rural Health Information Technology Network Program, will be used for the following purposes: personnel costs, $71,688; equipment, $20,000; supplies, $800; travel, $11,944; other, $14,311; and contractual costs, $181,257.
According to HRSA, the award is based on an application submitted to the agency.
Saipan Tribune learned that the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act of 2009 authorized incentive payments through Medicare and Medicaid to clinicians and hospitals when they use electronic health records privately and securely to achieve specific improvements in care delivery. HITECH's goal is not solely the adoption of electronic health records but meaningful use of these records and the use by providers to achieve improvements in care.
The primary purpose of the Rural Health Information Technology Network Program is to support rural organizations in their ability to effectively achieve “meaningful use” requirements. The program is authorized under Section 330A (f) of the Public Health Service Act, as amended. The purpose of the program is to expand access to, coordinate, and improve the quality of essential health care services, and enhance the delivery of health care in rural areas. The program will also support rural providers who work in formal networks, alliances, coalitions, or partnerships in their effort to effectively achieve “meaningful use” requirements.
The Rural Health Information Technology Program supports HRSA's goals of improving access and quality of health care, improving health outcomes, and improving public health and health care systems. The program also supports Health and Human Services goals to improve the quality, affordability, and accessibility of health care and to promote the economic and social well-being of individuals, families, and communities.