Communities large and small -- rom San Diego, New Orleans and Indianapolis to Stoneville, Miss. and Brewer, Maine -- are among 15 named this week as models for advancing the use of health information technology.
Vice President Joe Biden and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced the winners, selected from 130 applicants to the Beacon Community Program. The winning "beacon communities" are meant to be pilot programs that will guide other communities' migrating toward greater use of health information technology.
"These pioneering communities are going to lead the way in bringing smarter, lower-cost health care to all Americans through use of electronic health records," the vice president said.
The intent of the program, announced in December, is to take "communities at the cutting edge of electronic health record (EHR) adoption and health information exchange and push them to a new level of health care quality and efficiency" as a means "to accelerate and demonstrate the ability of health information technology to transform local health care systems." The $235 million program is funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.