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CMS Awards Medicaid Health IT Planning Grants

On December 9, 2009 the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) awarded $16 million in federal economic stimulus grant funding to six states and the U.S. Virgin Island for Medicaid health information technology (IT) planning and implementation efforts in preparation for the release of provider electronic health record (EHR) incentive payments. These states join the Iowa Medicaid program which was the first to receive an award in the amount of $1.16 million in November. Other states are expected to receive awards in the future. Reportedly, state Medicaid Offices, not CMS, will be tasked with managing up to $63,750 over six years in incentive payments to providers who demonstrate meaningful use. Grant provisions include a 90% federal match for state health IT planning activities. The following states received federal matching funds:

  • California- $2.48 million
  • Georgia- $3.17 million
  • Idaho- $142,000
  • Montana- $239,000
  • New York- $5.91 million
  • Texas- $3.86 million
  • U.S. Virgin Islands- $232,000
States will utilize the funding to study existing EHR adoption barriers, provider eligibility and requirements for incentive payments, conduct a comprehensive analysis of state HIT activities and determine the needs for consumer-controlled personal health records (PHR). In addition, states will develop a State Medicaid Health IT Plan as part of the statewide HIT roadmap.

GovWin's Take:

Medicaid agencies are tasked with conducting environmental scans and developing strategic plans which may entail assistance from technology consultants. State Medicaid Offices will leverage existing resources and continue to work collaboratively with state designated Health Information Exchange (HIE) entities which are currently detailing strategic and operational plans, as well as, revisiting state health IT roadmaps. It will be vital for Medicaid Management Information Systems (MMIS) to align with state health IT goals and federal requirements. Further, contractors may be called upon to assist states with managing incentive funding through tracking tools and technologies.

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