On February 8, 2011, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) announced an increase of $12 million in HITECH Act funding for regional extension centers to provide technical and educational assistance to critical access hospitals (CAHs) and rural hospitals as those facilities work to qualify for Medicare and Medicaid incentives as “meaningful users” of EHR technology.

This latest infusion of funds comes after an initial $20 million awarded by ONC to regional extension centers in September 2010 to provide onsite support to CAHs and rural hospitals with fewer than 50 beds. ONC will direct the additional $12 million to 48 regional extension centers that serve CAHs and small rural hospitals. ONC stated in its February 8 announcement, available by clicking here, that the geographic and financial challenges facing these facilities require additional funding to overcome. The complete list of regional extension centers receiving the new funds is available by clicking here.