Critical Access and rural hospitals in Minnesota and North Dakota can now receive subsidized assistance to work on adoption and meaningful use of health information technology (HIT).
In mid-September, the Regional Extension Assistance Center for HIT (REACH) received approval for supplemental funding from the Office of National Coordinator for HIT (ONC) to expand services to support Critical Access and rural hospitals. The grant allows REACH to earn up to $1.49 million to provide technical assistance to these hospitals. The amount of federal funding that REACH receives depends on the number of clients who sign up for help and on whether those clients achieve meaningful use of HIT.
The subsidies are greatest if hospitals sign up before December and agree to begin attestation of meaningful use by October 2011. Doing so would qualify hospitals for Medicare and Medicaid incentive dollars within the first year of the program.
Twenty-nine Minnesota and 15 North Dakota hospitals already have registered for assistance. Other eligible hospitals can register online.