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Medicaid wins EHR planning grant

2/26/2010 © Health News Florida

Florida's Medicaid program will receive $1.69  million in matching funds to plan the state's electronic health record network, federal health officials announced today. The match is 90 percent.

In a press release, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) said the funds come from the  American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, often called "the stimulus."

The aim, CMS said, is to broaden the reach of electronic health records to improve quality of health care and make it more efficient. Having records available makes it easier for health-care providers to coordinate care and makes it possible for patients to get information they need to make decisions, the release said.

The match can be used for incentive payments to Medicaid providers to adopt electronic health records, for audits of those payments or to promote interoperable record systems across the state. 

Florida will use its funds to study ways to break down barriers to the use of electronic records and develop a  plan for health information technology in Medicaid.

“We congratulate Florida for qualifying for these federal matching funds to assist its plan for implementing the Recovery Act’s EHR incentive program,” said Cindy Mann, director of the Center for Medicaid and State Operations at CMS, according to the release.
"Meaningful and interoperable use of EHRs in Medicaid will increase health care efficiency, reduce medical errors and improve quality outcomes and patient satisfaction within and across the states.”

Additional information on the program is available at the CMS web site.