On Wednesday, HHS and the Department of Veterans Affairs announced a joint initiative that will leverage health IT to improve care coordination and expand access to health care for veterans living in rural areas, Becker's Hospital Review reports.
As part of the initiative, the Health Resources and Services Administration is administering $983,100 in grants to improve telehealth networks and health information exchanges in rural areas (Roney, Becker's Hospital Review, 9/13).
Each of the three states with the highest density of veterans -- Alaska, Montana and Virginia -- will receive about $300,000 to implement or upgrade telehealth technology for veterans who otherwise would need to travel long distances to access medical and mental health care.
The grants also will be used to support the development of electronic health record systems that are compatible with VA's VistA EHR system.
In addition, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT is working to facilitate health information exchange networks among VA hospitals and rural health care facilities (Miliard, Healthcare IT News, 9/13).