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Home / News & IndustryManaged Care Insight and Analysis
Updated: June 29, 2010
HIT Beacon Communities Awarded $220 Million

The second round of HIT Beacon Community grants have been awarded, for $220 million to improve care throughout the U.S. while building models and gaining evidence of benefits.

Over 130 applications were received, HHS said, but 15 health systems were recipients of millions to further their health information exchange (HIE), improve effectiveness of care management programs and increase the quality of care delivered; in return the communities will set forth standards for other communities and health systems to follow.

"The most important healthcare innovations are those that are designed and tested by providers and community leaders all across the country. Beacon Communities will offer insight into how health IT can make a real difference in the delivery of healthcare," said Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of HHS. "The Beacon Community Program will tap the best ideas across America and demonstrate the enormous benefit health IT will have to improving health and care within our communities."

Approximately $70,000 will be used specifically to create a total of 1,100 jobs in the health systems.

The recipients and programs receiving funds are:

  • Community Services Council of Tulsa, Okla. – $12,043,948. The funds will be used to strengthen relationships between all healthcare players to improve cancer screening referrals and access to diabetes care.
  • Delta Health Alliance Inc., Stoneville, Miss. – $14,666156. The funds will aid in electronically linking all systems to improve diabetic care, patient education and medication therapy.
  • Eastern Maine Healthcare Systems, Brewer, Maine – $12,749,740. The funds will expand connectivity through HIE while promoting telemedicine to elderly patients needing constant care.
  • Geisinger Clinic, Danville, Pa. – $16,069,110. The funds will create a community-wide medical home for pulmonary disease and congestive heart failure and promote HIE.
  • HealthInsight, Salt Lake City, Utah – $15,790,181. The funds will be used to improve diabetes care through reporting measures and recruiting solutions to lower healthcare costs.
  • Indiana Health Information Exchange, Indianapolis, Ind. – $16,008,431. The funds will expand HIE to communities it has not reached yet, improve cholesterol and blood sugar control in diabetes patients, and improve after-hospitalization care through telemedicine monitoring.
  • Inland Northwest Health Services, Spokane, Wash. – $15,702,479. The funds will establish anchor institutes to extend the HIE and increase diabetic preventative services in remote clinics.
  • Louisiana Public Health Institute, New Orleans, La. – $13,525,434. The funds will connect isolated health systems to decrease racial health disparities and improve diabetes and smoking cessation rates.
  • Mayo Clinic Rochester, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Rochester, Minn. – $12,284,770. The funds will reduce costs associated with hospitalizations and emergency services for diabetics and children with asthma.
  • Rhode Island Quality Institute – $15,914,787. The funds will support HIT initiatives to improve diabetes management and aid to transition to the patient-centered Medical home model, while adapting the infrastructure to increase immunizations.
  • Rocky Mountain Health Maintenance Organization, Grand Junction, Colo. – $11,878,279. The funds will be used to increase data collection efforts to improve blood pressure control in diabetics and patients with hypertension, smoking cessation counseling and reduce unnecessary visits.
  • Southern Piedmont Community Care Plan Inc., Concord, NC – $15,907,622. The funds will be used to improve care coordination for patients with diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, and asthma through data sharing.
  • The Regents of the University of California, San Diego, Calif. – $15,275,115. The funds will increase health management among patients as well as expand its electronic information transmission initiative for cardiovascular and cerebrovascular disease.
  • University of Hawaii at Hilo – $16,091,390. The funds will implement a region-wide HIE and securing technology to ensure secure connections for telemedicine promotion.
  • Western New York Clinical Information Exchange Inc., Buffalo – $16,092,485. The funds will utilize telemedicine solutions like registries and point-of-care alerts to improve primary and specialty care.

"These pioneering communities are going to lead the way in bringing smarter, lower-cost healthcare to all Americans through use of electronic health records. Because of their early efforts, the country will one day be able to coordinate patient care with the stroke of a key or pull up life-saving health information instantly in an emergency – and for the residents of these communities, that future is about to become a reality," said Vice President Joe Biden.

Address: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 200 Independence Avenue SW, Washington DC 20201; (877) 696-6775,

  This article was taken from:
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