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New Funding Assists Rural Hospitals Converting to EHRs

On September 10, 2010, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced nearly $20 million in new technical support assistance to help critical access and rural hospital facilities convert from paper-based medical records to certified electronic health record (EHR) technology.

This funding is being awarded to 46 Regional Extension Centers (RECs) in 41 states and the nationwide Indian Country. The program is intended to provide additional support for staffing and expertise to assist critical access and rural hospitals with fewer than 50 beds in selecting and implementing EHR systems primarily within the outpatient setting. A total of 1,655 critical access and rural hospitals stand to benefit from this special assistance. By converting to certified EHR technology, these facilities can qualify for substantial additional incentive payments from Medicare or Medicaid.

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