Most RECs Plan To Stay Open For Business

Mike Miliard | Healthcare IT News | May 2, 2014

As HITECH money runs out, most seek other funding options and 'continue focus on future endeavors'

Federal funding for most regional extension centers is set to dry up by late this year or early next, but most of them still plan to keep their doors open, according to the 2014 HIMSS Regional Extension Center Survey.

As part of ONC's efforts to help primary care providers get up and running with health information technology, the 2009 HITECH Act provided funding for the RECs -- 62 of them nationwide -- to offer guidance and assistance for adoption and implementation of electronic health records.

Five years later, the program looks to have been a big success. The numbers speak for themselves: 147,000 providers are now enrolled with a REC, more than 124,000 of them have gone live with an EHR, and 70,000 have demonstrated meaningful use. Meanwhile, 872 critical access hospitals have also received MU incentive payments thanks to help from RECs.

Now, with ARRA money dwindling, most RECs are plotting a course for a sustainable future...