09.23.09

Blackstone Valley Community Health Center Receives Economic Recovery Funds

Washington, D.C. - Rhode Island's Congressional delegation today applauded the announcement by the Obama Administration that the Blackstone Valley Community Health Center will receive $478,000 for health information technology (IT) implementation. The funding was made available through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), which the delegation supported.

"This Recovery Act funding will enable Blackstone Valley Community Health Center to provide its patients with comprehensive, quality care more inexpensively, effectively, and expeditiously. Improving Health IT infrastructure at our hospitals and community health centers is a smart investment in patient care that saves lives and money," said Reed, a member of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.

"Spiraling health care costs threaten to engulf our economy," said Whitehouse. "Health IT investment will create jobs, improve care for patients, and help lay the foundation for significant reform in our health care system."

"As co-chair of the 21st Century Health Care Caucus, I have introduced a resolution for the past four years recognizing National Health IT week - September 21-25 - because the adoption of health information technology is essential for improving access to health care, bringing down costs, reducing medical errors, and improving health outcomes for Americans. The current health care reform debate has highlighted the point that we must transform our health care delivery system to one that creates efficiencies and promotes evidence-based best practices that will result in the delivery of high quality, affordable health care for all," said Kennedy, a member of the House Appropriations Committee. "I am extremely pleased that the Blackstone Valley Community Health Center has received a Health IT grant under the Recovery Program. These federal dollars are an investment in lifesaving technologies that will also help to reduce the costs of health care."

The economic recovery bill included $18 billion in Medicare and Medicaid incentives for doctors who use health IT in their practices to improve the quality of care for their patients, as well as $2 billion for grants, loan programs, and other provisions to enhance our health IT infrastructure. Health IT will create jobs and confront the long-term economic challenges facing Rhode Island and our nation, by developing technology that allows doctors to prescribe drugs electronically, update vital information in real-time, and cross-reference health issues with the best illness, prevention, and treatment strategies for the patient.

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