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Missouri Rural and Critical Access Hospitals Get Boost for Electronic Health Record Adoption

March 3, 2011 - The Missouri Health Information Technology (MO HIT) Assistance Center is the recipient of a grant of $330,000 to provide technical assistance to help rural and critical access hospitals adopt and become meaningful users of certified electronic health record technology. MO HIT Assistance Center was one of 48 regional extension centers to receive this funding.

The MO HIT Assistance Center and its partner, the Hospital Data Industry Institute help critical access hospitals (CAH) and small rural hospitals select and implement meaningful use of certified electronic health records (EHRs). As a part of a national network of 62 regional extension centers across the United States, the Assistance Center offers education; outreach, and technical assistance to help rural and critical access hospitals achieve meaningful use of certified EHRs to improve the quality and value care to their patients. A grant under the Health Information Technology Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, was awarded to the MO HIT Assistance Center to establish this regional extension center, and is the same funding mechanism for this newest award.

The HITECH Act also created the Medicare and Medicaid EHR incentive program, which provide incentive payments to eligible professionals, eligible hospitals, and critical access hospitals that adopt and demonstrate meaningful use of certified EHR technology. The ONC recognizes the additional challenges rural and critical access hospitals face in the adoption and meaningful use of certified EHR technology and believes this additional funding will assist those facilities in overcoming those obstacles and accelerating the transition. To view the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) funding announcement, click here.

Missouri rural and critical access hospitals interested in the adoption and meaningful use of certified EHRs are urged to contact the MO HIT Assistance Center to learn more about available support. For information support for rural and critical access hospitals' EHR incentive programs, EHR adoption, or MO HIT Assistance Center services, please visit the Missouri Health Information Technology Assistance Center Web site http://www.EHRhelp.missouri.edu, E-mail us EHRhelp@missouri.edu, or call us toll-free 1-877-882-9933.

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