EHR Support Part of HHS’ New $112M Heart Disease Grant Program

May 28, 2015 in News

On Tuesday, HHS announced that it will provide $112 million in grants to help physicians at smaller practices combat heart disease in part by leveraging electronic health records, Health Data Management reports (Slabodkin, Health Data Management, 5/27).  

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the U.S. (Sullivan, The Hill, 5/26).

Grant Details

The EvidenceNOW grant funding will go toward creating regional expert groups to assist 5,000 providers who serve about eight million patients at small practices with quality improvement services, including:

  • EHR support;
  • Health care delivery improvement consultations; and
  • On-site coaching (Health Data Management, 5/27).

Small practices generally do not have as many resources as larger organizations.

Overall, the initiative aims to inform physicians about the most recent evidence for fighting heart disease through the “ABCS” delivery method, which involves:

  • Aspirin for high-risk individuals;
  • Blood pressure control;
  • Cholesterol management; and
  • Smoking cessation.

The funds will be provided in seven regions HHS considers underserved. According to HHS, the target groups are:

  • Native Americans in Oklahoma;
  • Hispanics in New Mexico and Colorado;
  • Medically underserved communities in New York City and the Chicago Tri-State region; and
  • Rural communities in Virginia, North Carolina and the Pacific Northwest (The Hill, 5/26).

In addition, HHS has awarded an eighth grant to the Oregon Health Sciences University to conduct an independent evaluation of the EvidenceNOW initiative and determine which quality improvement strategies are most effective (Health Data Management, 5/27).

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