Durbin Announces Nearly $1.5 Million in Recovery Act Funding to Implement Electronic Health Records

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] – Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) today announced that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has awarded $1,496,671 in funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to Illinois health networks to implement electronic health records. The HHS’s Health Resources and Services Administration awarded $27.8 million in Recovery Act funding to health centers nationwide for implementation of electronic health records and other health information technology innovations.


“Because they can be shared instantaneously with multiple doctors and can be transmitted hundreds of miles in seconds, electronic health records are an effective tool for improving the quality of health care and saving lives,” said Durbin. “Today’s Recovery Act funding will create jobs and help achieve President Obama’s goal of universal adoption of electronic health records by 2014.”


The following health networks will receive funding:


• Springfield, Illinois: $750,000 in funding for the Illinois Primary Care Association to support electronic health record implementation;


• Chicago, Illinois: $746,671 in funding for the Near North Health Services Corporation to support electronic health record implementation.


HRSA’s network of 1,100 health center grantees across the nation provide health care at more than 7,000 sites, ranging from large medical facilities to clinics and mobile vans. In 2007, health centers served 16.1 million patients, regardless of their ability to pay. Charges for services are set according to income, and only nominal fees are collected from the poorest patients. Nationally, about 39 percent of health center patients have no health insurance.