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Federal Resources to Help Rural Providers Achieve Meaningful Use

Federal Resources to Help Rural Providers Achieve Meaningful Use

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Are you a health care provider in rural America and want to adopt EHRs? This fact sheet has resources to help rural health care providers adopt EHRs.

HealthIT- http://www.HealthIT.gov
Are you a health care provider in rural America and want to adopt EHRs? This fact sheet has resources to help rural health care providers adopt EHRs.

HealthIT- http://www.HealthIT.gov

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Published by: ONC for Health Information Technology on Feb 18, 2011
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HealthIT.govFEDERAL RESOURCES TO HELP RURALPROVIDERS ACHIEVE MEANINGFUL USE
Health care providers serving the approximately 50 million Americans who reside in rural communitiesface special challenges in their effort to deliver quality care. The realities of distance, isolation, andconstricted resources can complicate health care delivery. Health information technology (health IT) canhelp ameliorate some of those problems. However, rural health care providers face several barriers tohealth IT implementation. These include:
Lackofbroadbandinternetaccess;NotenoughskilledITpersonnel;andInsufcientnancialcapitaltoimplementelectronichealthrecord(EHR)systems.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is committed to helping rural providers
overcomethesechallenges.TheHHSRuralHealthITTaskForceformedtoensuretheeffectiveuseofFederalresourcestohelpruralprovidersqualifyformeaningfuluseincentivepaymentsandtohelpenableruralAmericatobenetfromhealthIT.SeveraldifferentFederalagenciesanddepartmentsareinvolvedintheefforttohelpruralhealthcareproviderstransitiontoelectronichealthrecords(EHRs).BelowaresomeoftheFederalresources
currently available for rural providers interested in achieving meaningful use of health IT.
The Ofce o the National Coordinator or Health Inormation Technology (ONC)
ONCischargedwithcoordinatingnationwideeffortstoimplementhealthinformationtechnologyandtheelectronicexchangeofhealthinformationinallareasofthecountry—urban,suburban,andrural.ONChasestablishedthefollowingprogramstohelpprovidersadoptandmeaningfullyuseEHRs:•RegionalExtensionCenters(RECs),whicharelocatedacrossthecountry,supportandservehealthcareproviderstohelpthemquicklybecomeadeptandmeaningfulusersofEHRs.MostoftheRECs
have received extra funding to help critical access and rural hospitals convert from paper-based
recordstocertiedEHRsystems.TheRECsaresetupto:ProvidetrainingandsupportservicestoassistdoctorsandotherprovidersinadoptingEHRsOfferinformationandguidancetohelpwithEHRimplementation
o Give technical assistance as needed
FormoreinformationontheRECprogramortondtheRECthatservesyourarea,goto
http://healthit.hhs.gov/rec.
TheHealthITWorkforceDevelopmentProgramtrainsskilledprofessionalsintheeldofhealthITtoenablethemtohelpprovidersadoptandmeaningfullyuseEHRs.Thisincludestrainingforhealthworkersnowemployedinruralpracticesandfacilities,with
broad opportunities for distance learning.
 
••••TheCommunityCollegeConsortiatoEducateHealthInformationTechnologyProfessionals,whichismadeupofveregionalgroupsofmorethan70communitycollegesinall50states,hasimplementednon-degreehealthITtrainingprogramsforskilledprofessionalsthatcanbecompletedinsixmonthsorless.FormoreinformationontheCommunityCollegeConsortiaandtondtheconsortiumthatserves
your area, go tohttp://healthit.hhs.gov/communitycollege.
Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA)
TheHRSAOfceofRuralHealthPolicy(ORHP)ischargedwithcoordinatingactivitiesrelatedtoruralhealthcarewithinHHS.ORHPhastoolsandresourcestohelpruralprovidersadoptandmeaningfully
use health IT:
TheRuralAssistanceCenter(RAC),aproductofHHS’RuralInitiative,wasestablishedinDecember2002asaruralhealthandhumanservicesinformationportal.RAChelpsruralcommunitiesandotherruralstakeholdersaccessthefullrangeofavailableprograms,funding,andresearch.RACoffers
many services to help inform decisions affecting rural health, and all services are provided free of
charge.FormoreinformationaboutRACresources,goto
http://www.raconline.org.
OtherORHPtoolsandresourcesinclude:RuralHealthITAdoptionToolBox—aresourcetargetedtowardruralprovidersseekingtoimplementhealthITtoimprovetheoveralleffectivenessoftheirpractices.TheToolBoxisavailableat
 
http://www.hrsa.gov/healthit/toolbox/RuralHealthITtoolbox/index.htm
l.
RuralHealthClinicTechnicalAssistanceSeries—aseriesofconferencecallsthatareproducedinconjunctionwiththeNationalAssociationofRuralHealthClinicsandprovidetargetedtechnical
assistance to rural health clinics nationwide. To learn more about these conference calls, go tohttp://www.hrsa.gov/ruralhealth/policy/confcall/index.html.
TheHRSAOfceofHealthInformationTechnologyandQuality(OHITQ)alsohoststechnicalassistancewebinarstohelpHRSAgranteesandsafetynetproviderswhoareeitherusingorplanningtousehealthITasatooltoimprovequalityintheirdeliveryofpatientcare.Formoreinformationaboutthese
webinars, go tohttp://www.hrsa.gov/healthit/toolbox/webinars.html.
OHITQrecentlypublishedaPrimeronHITAdoptionintheRuralHealthCareSettingtoprovide
guidance to rural critical access hospitals that wish to demonstrate meaningful use. You can downloadthe Primer athttp://www.hrsa.gov/ruralhealth/pdf/meaningfuluseprimer.pdf.
FEDERAL RESOURCES TO HELP RURALPROVIDERS ACHIEVE MEANINGFUL USEHealthIT.gov
 
••
The Centers or Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)
CMSengagesinfrequentoutreachactivitiestoeducatethestatesontheMedicaidEHRIncentiveProgram,andtogatherfeedbackfromthestatesabouttheprogram.CMShosts“All-StatesCalls”and
has a number of educational materials available for download from its website,
http://www.cms.gov/EHRIncentivePrograms/40_MedicaidStateInfo.asp
.
 Agency or Healthcare Research & Quality (AHRQ)
TheAHRQNationalResourceCenter(NRC)isapublicresourceforsharingresearchndings,best
practices, lessons learned, and funding opportunities with health IT researchers, implementers, and
policymakers.Morethan10,000documents,presentations,articles,andtoolsarefreelyavailableat
http://www.healthit.ahrq.gov.
Indian Health Service (IHS)
IHSsupportsthenationalTelehealthTechnologyAssistanceCenter(T-TAC)bytrackingchangesin
telehealth technologies, assessing these technologies, and providing technical assistance to grantees
intheselectionofstrategiestooptimallydelivertelehealthclinicalservices.Formoreinformation,goto
http://www.telehealthtac.org/home.
Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
TheFCChelpsruralprovidersaccessaffordabletelecommunicationservicesnecessaryfortheadoption
and meaningful use of health IT.
TheRuralHealthCareprogramprovidesfundingtoeligiblehealthcareprovidersfor
 telecommunications services, including broadband necessary for the provision of health care. Theprogram is designed to ensure that rural providers pay no more than their urban counterparts for their
telecommunicationsandInternetaccessneedsinprovidinghealthcare.Formoreinformationonthis
program, go tohttp://www.fcc.gov/wcb/tapd/ruralhealth.
TheFCChasalsoinitiatedaRuralHealthCarePilotProgramtofacilitatethecreationofanationwidebroadbandnetworkdedicatedtohealthcare,connectingpublicandprivatenonprothealthcareprovidersinruralandurbanlocations.Formoreinformation,goto
 http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/rural/rhcp.html.
FEDERAL RESOURCES TO HELP RURALPROVIDERS ACHIEVE MEANINGFUL USEHealthIT.gov

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