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Monday, December 6th, 2021

HHS announces funding opportunity to support public health agencies

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The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced a new funding opportunity to expand the uses of electronic health information via health information exchanges (HIEs) to support public health agencies.

Strengthening health data exchange between HIEs and state and local public health agencies will help communities to better respond to public health emergencies.

With $2.5 million in funding from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), the HHS Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) will award up to five cooperative agreements under the Strengthening the Technical Advancement and Readiness of Public Health Agencies via Health Information Exchange (STAR HIE) Program.

“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, national coordinator for health information technology, said. “The funding opportunity we announced today will invest in infrastructure and data services for HIEs that provide critical real-time information to communities at the frontlines of responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The STAR HIE Program seeks to strengthen existing state and local HIE infrastructure so that public health agencies can better access health information and support communities disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Award recipients will focus on improving HIE services in support of state and local public health agencies.