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$75K Mass HIway implementation grants build health information exchange capacity

More than 80 Massachusetts healthcare organizations will receive a Mass HIway Implementation Grant, courtesy of the Last Mile Program, a spinoff of the Mass HIway statewide health information exchange. The grants, Last Mile leaders hope, will increase adoption of the program and foster HIE innovation.

Established in October 2012, the Massachusetts Health Information Highway (Mass HIway) is a collaboration between the state’s Health and Human Services agency and Massachusetts eHealth Institute (MeHI) to stand up the state’s health information exchange. Doctors, researchers, pharmacists, nurses, payers and other healthcare professionals can exchange clinical information on the HIway via directly-enabled EHR systems, a local area network device or secure webmail service.

The roughly 30 grants, worth up to $75,000 each, will cover the cost of paper-based exchanges and then connect them to the Mass HIway. About $2 million in total has been budgeted for the grants; the HIE will announce the recipients later this month.

Meanwhile, MeHI is soliciting proposals for another grant initiative, the Mass HIway Interface Grant Program. Health IT vendors with four or more product implementations in Massachusetts are eligible to apply, although the primary target audience includes vendors whose products support small practices or providers not covered by meaningful use incentives.

The interface grants will support vendors’ efforts to connect their EHRs, clinical information systems and other health data systems solutions to the Mass HIway or to implement an existing interface in the state.

Vendors have until June 16 to submit applications for the interface grants; the agency plans to announce recipients around June 28.

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