February 08, 2011

Grant Will Help New Mexico Hospitals and Medical Professionals Adopt Health Information Technology

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Jeff Bingaman and Tom Udall today announced that a New Mexico organization will receive a $102,000 federal grant to continue its work to support the adoption of health information technology (HIT) by hospitals and medical professionals across the state.

The grant comes from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA). It will be used by the Lovelace Clinic Foundation to help New Mexico hospitals and medical professionals select and purchase computers and other HIT equipment, as well as tap into the federal funds available through ARRA to reimburse a significant portion of the cost. The grant focuses specifically on helping critical access hospitals and rural hospitals adopt and become meaningful users of certified health information technology.

Lovelace has already received federal awards of more than $7.4 million for the same purpose.

"Lovelace Clinic Foundation has been tapped to assist New Mexico health professionals as they shift to life-saving Health Information Technology.  This grant will ensure the Foundation is fully able to carry out this important task," Bingaman said.

"By helping health care providers incorporate this critical technology into their daily work, we will improve efficiency and quality of care while reducing costs to hospitals, doctors and taxpayers," Udall said. "These resources will be especially important in rural New Mexico, where access to quality health care is often limited by geography and limited resources. I fought for expanded HIT funding for our rural areas during thehealth care reform debate, and will continue pushing for additional resources moving forward."

Udall is a member of the Capitol Hill Steering Committee on TeleHealth and Healthcare Informatics. Since 1993, the committee has convened more than 140 widely attended educational sessions and healthcare technology demonstrations for public and private stakeholders and the general public.

New Mexico providers who would like assistance purchasing HIT or receiving federal reimbursement for the services may contact the New Mexico HIT Regional Exchange Center at 505.938.9900. More information is available at http://www.nmhitrec.org.