Electronic Health Records and Rural Health Care Grants

M.S.144.148, M.S. 144.147, M.S. 144.1486, M.S.145.9268

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Electronic Health Records and Rural Health Care Grants

As part of its initiative to speed the implementation of electronic health records and technology throughout the health care system, MDH is proposing a straightforward statutory change in several current programs to accentuate the department’s commitment to health information technology projects.

What does the legislation do?

The department administers several grant programs that support rural hospital planning, capital improvements, and community and rural clinic projects. The legislation adds specific language to these programs clarifying that electronic health records projects are eligible activities for state grant support. This legislation will encourage and support the transition to electronic health records.

The legislation adds Electronic Health Records language to the following existing grant programs:

Hospitals:

  • Rural Hospital Capital Improvement Grant Program (M.S.144.148)
  • Rural Hospital Planning and Transition Grant Program (M.S. 144.147)

Clinics:

  • Rural Community Health Center (M.S. 144.1486)
  • Community Clinic Grant Programs (M.S.145.9268)

The legislation combines the two clinic programs cited above into one section of statute in order to better support the capacity of rural and urban clinics in:

  • Serving rural or low-income populations,
  • Reducing uncompensated care burdens, or
  • Providing for improved quality of care.

The programs are similar enough in objectives, structure and function that combining them can retain the fundamental nature of each, improve the operation of the programs, and make the application process clearer and simpler for the safety net clinics supported by the programs.

Moved is backed by stakeholders

The Minnesota Hospital Association supports the hospital program changes. The Minnesota Primary Care Association and the Neighborhood Health Care Network support the clinic program changes. No opponents or controversies are known or expected.

Supports the department’s goals

Adding Electronic Health Records language to these programs supports these department goals:

  • E-Health Initiative
  • Stewarding resources and fostering best business practices
  • MDH priority to reduce health care gaps in rural communities

MDH staff contact: Mark Schoenbaum at 651-282-3859.

Updated Tuesday, 16-Nov-2010 12:27:52 CST