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OIG: Few ARRA-funded health center EHRs support meaningful use

January 31, 2014

Only 14% of Health Center Controlled Networks that received American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grants in 2009 and 2010 to implement electronic health records could support all Stage 1 meaningful use objectives in July 2012, according to a report released yesterday by the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General. Only 27% of the HCCNs could support the three objectives related to sharing data with other health care providers and public health agencies, and three-quarters reported challenges meeting the ongoing cost of operating and maintaining the EHR systems, OIG said. In the report, OIG recommends that the Health Resources and Services Administration use the progress reports from HCCN grantees to understand progress toward meaningful use objectives, provide guidance and technical assistance to health centers, and ensure that HCCN grantees provide information on the financial sustainability of EHR systems at health centers. HCCNs are groups of collaborating safety net providers.