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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Community Interoperability and Health Information Exchange Cooperative Agreement Program

Deadline: June 15, 2015

The objective of this funding announcement is to inspire community entities (United States-based non-profit institution or organization, state or local government, agency or group in a designated community) to work collaboratively with non-eligible care providers, meaning those providers not eligible for the Electronic Health Records (EHR) Incentive Programs, to identify opportunities to support and extend the use of secure, interoperable health IT tools and health information exchange (HIE) services that will eventually lead to the enabling of individual and community health improvement through collective impact. Communities have a much greater chance of improving health and well-being if organizations collaborate to create formal and informal networks to integrate health and social and community services. Health should be viewed beyond the walls of health care, and is inclusive of all the determinants of health.

The term “care providers” is defined broadly to reflect the entire health care continuum. Non-eligible care providers include: long-term and post-acute care, behavioral health, individuals, and other care settings and care providers (e.g., safety net providers, public health, social services, emergency medical services) or other recognized stakeholders that applicants are encouraged to engage.

For purposes of this funding opportunity, health IT tools should not include the purchase and adoption of EHRs, but instead tools that promote data sharing between providers and individuals (e.g., patient portals, personal health records, and mobile health technologies).

This funding announcement will enable applicants to increase use of HIE and adoption of health IT among non-eligible care providers in the community to help address critical challenges to widespread interoperability including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Proprietary vendor or health care system interests
  • Workflow challenges in automating health information
  • Differing policies and laws governing electronic health information sharing
  • Fragmentation of the health care system
  • Disconnection between the health care system and key social service providers

These funds can be used to foster connections and data sharing between non-eligible care providers in existing community HIE efforts but not to fund separate siloed efforts for non-eligible care providers. HHS will fund approximately ten (10) community interoperability projects to address high-impact use cases through the accelerated adoption and use of standards-based interoperable tools and to increase HIE services among non-eligible care providers in order to achieve a learning health system. Although the funding announcement does not direct resources specifically to eligible professionals and eligible hospitals as defined in the EHR Incentive programs, it will support the work they do to share and coordinate care with non-eligible care providers.

Proposed projects should focus on all three of the following areas:

  • Area One: Identify a specific non-eligible care provider population—those who will ultimately use the HIE service or tool.
  • Area Two: Extend an existing HIE service or use case; for example, facilitate transitions of care and promote care coordination, or focus on an individual population or the community to improve care coordination.
  • Area Three: Engagement strategy for use by the non-eligible care provider population.

Amount: $1,000,000 is available for approximately 10 awards, which may range from $50,000-$100,000 each.

Eligibility: United States-based non-profit institutions or organizations, and state or local governments, agencies or groups.

Link: https://www.grantsolutions.gov/gs/preaward/previewPublicAnnouncement.do?id=51056

Note: A notice of intent to apply is due May 15, 2015.

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