FY 14 Budget for Health Technology

The FY 2014 Budget for the Office of the National Coordinator for HIT is $78 million which is an appreciable increase of $17 million above FY 2012. For FY 2014, ONC has plans to continue to promote the Meaningful Use of HIT and in FY 2014, eligible providers will begin to attest to Stage 2 of the EHR incentive Programs.

Stage 2 will have standards and specifications to support HIE across vendor boundaries and with patients, provide for new measures and enhanced measures for capturing and reporting clinical quality measure data, and provide enhanced privacy and security protections for mobile devices. (more…)

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Tele-Stroke Services Launched

C3O Telemedicine just announced the successful launch of their latest telehealth program, a partnership for Tele-Stroke services with Community Memorial Health System in Ventura California. According to the National Stroke Association, stroke is the third leading cause of death in the U.S. and stroke-related healthcare costs a total of $73.7 billion.

C3O’s Acute Neurology Telemedicine Program designed to improve access to specialists for stroke patients and other neurocritically ill patients was successfully implemented at the health system’s Community Memorial Hospital facility. (more…)

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Accurate Data for AI/ANs

Testimony presented to the House appropriation Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies on March 19th by Rex Lee Jim serving as the Navajo Area Representative to the National Indian Health Board (NHIB) and Vice President for the Navajo Nation, discussed critical healthcare needs that exist for American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/AN).

Today, there are significant health disparities within AI/AN communities as compared to rates in the general U.S. population. The fact is that tuberculosis rates are 8.5 times higher, chronic liver disease and cirrhosis is 4.2 times higher, diabetes, 2.9 times higher, unintentional injuries 2.5 times higher, and homicide 2.0 higher. (more…)

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Helping Vulnerable Populations

The Veterans Administration’s research goal is to improve the quality and equity of health and healthcare for vulnerable populations. The primary focus is to research issues in vulnerable populations affecting racial and ethnic minorities, women, homeless, individuals with limited life expectancy, people with serious mental illnesses, TBI, and PTSD, stigmatizing or disabling medical conditions, victims of military sexual trauma, disadvantages existing in specific geographic areas, and gender minorities.

The secondary research focus is to improve the quality, safety, and value of clinical therapeutics which can include the appropriate use of medications, devices, and procedures to improve the patient’s quality of life and medical outcomes and do more to manage many chronic illnesses.  (more…)

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Foundation Awards Grants

The ABIM Foundation awarded grants supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) to 21 state medical societies, specialty societies, and regional health collaboratives. The grant awards will help physicians and patients find ways to reduce unnecessary tests and procedures. The grants will run until March 31, 2015. State medical societies and specialty societies will receive $50,000 and regional collaborative will receive $70,000.

The grants will extend the ABIM Foundation’s “Choosing Wisely®” campaign in communities encouraging physicians and patients to think and talk about medical tests and procedures that may be unnecessary and in some instances could cause harm. Since April 2012, 25 medical specialty societies have created lists of tests and procedures they say are overused or inappropriate. (more…)

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Genomic Medicine Pilots

Although the potential for genomics to contribute to clinical care has long been anticipated, the pace of incorporating genomic findings into medical practice has been relatively slow since NIH has be able to support only a limited number of programs.

However, NIH has just announced funding for about $3,000,000 with 3 to 4 awards to support collaborative genomic medicine pilot demonstration projects. NIH’s Funding Opportunity Announcement (RFA-HG-13-004) will support projects that will adapt ongoing successful genomic projects or initiate new projects to expand the implementation of genomic medicine.

The demonstration projects will incorporate the patient’s genomic information into their EMR and provide clinical decision support for appropriate interventions or to give clinical advice.

Specific goals are to expand and link existing genomic medicine efforts, develop new collaborative projects and methods in diverse settings and populations, contribute to the evidence base regarding outcomes when incorporating genomic information into clinical care, and share the information with others.

NHGRI expects the project datasets and associated genotyping data from the participating projects to be widely shared with the scientific community for research. Information such as study protocols, descriptions, CDS, bioinformatic tools, and publications are expected to be made available through an open access sections of a database such as dbGaP, other public web sites, and/or published in the scientific literature.

Organizations eligible to apply for funding include higher education institutions, nonprofits, for-profits, and governments. The deadline for the application is July 17, 2013 with the earliest start date anticipated to be April 1, 2014.

Go to http://gratns.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-HG-13-004.html for more information.

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HRSA Supports Rural Vets

HRSA’s Office of Rural Health Policy (ORHP) is now accepting applications for FY 2013 “Flex Rural Veterans Health Access Program” (RVHAP). ORHP is providing funding for $960,000 to help coordinate activities so that rural veterans of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom will have access to services needed for mental healthcare via the use of networks, electronic communication, and telehealth networks.

RVHAP goals are to:

  • Utilize telehealth and health IT including EHRs to help improve care coordination for veterans who are seen by both the VA and private providers
  • Expand existing networks via partnerships and coalitions with other healthcare entities such as CAHs, FQHCs, rural health clinics, home health agencies, community mental health clinics, and other providers of mental health services such as pharmacists, local governments, and private practice physicians
  • Consult with state hospital associations, rural hospitals, providers of mental health services, and other stakeholders to provide services


Grant funds are to be used to strengthen coordination in rural healthcare networks with the VA and may also be used to help upgrade existing equipment and software in rural facilities.

Eligible applicants can only be current Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility Program grantees in states with certified CAHs. The estimated award amount will be up to $329,000 per year. The response to HRSA’s funding announcement released April 3, 2013 is due May 17, 2013.

For more information on (HRSA-13-246), go to www.grants.gov or contact Larry Bryant, at LBryant@hrsa.gov or call (301)443-1330.

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