HHS offers $2.5M in CARES Act funding to boost health information exchange during crises

Health and Human Services is making $2.5 million in funding available in a bid to boost health information exchange during this and future public health crises, the agency announced Wednesday.

The money comes by way of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act and is aimed at strengthening such data sharing between HIEs and public health agencies. HHS will award up to five grants as part of the program, with a Sept. 1 application deadline.

“State and local HIEs play a unique role in their communities by uniting health information from many different sites of service—including providers, hospitals, nursing homes, clinical laboratories and public health departments—making them a natural fit to deliver innovative, local ‘last mile’ approaches to strengthen our overall public health response,” Don Rucker, MD, national coordinator for health IT, said in a statement.

Those awarded funding must make a special effort to address populations hit hardest by the pandemic, with an eye on age, race, ethnicity, disability and sex, HHS added. You can read more about the funding opportunity here.