California HIT gets Boost with FCC Grant to UC

February 12, 2008 |   | Contact: M. Daniel DeCillis

The state has moved closer to broader adoption of Healthcare Information Technology (HIT) as the University of California, in partnership with a coalition of government agencies, health care providers and others, received a three-year, $22 million award from the Federal Communications Commission in November to help develop a new California Telehealth Network.

“The University is pleased and honored to receive this new FCC grant on behalf of the state.” said UC President Robert C. Dynes. “This new funding will enable the UC system to partner with a broad collation of partners in developing new technology-based programs to improve access to health services statewide.”

The grant is part of the FCC’s Rural Health Care Support Mechanism and will allow UC and its partners to begin to establish a statewide broadband telehealth network aimed at improving the rural health care infrastructure throughout California. The University of California Office of the President, together with the UC Davis Health System, will manage the project on behalf of the state of California and a coalition of stakeholders that worked together to prepare the California proposal.

CCST has been active in fostering discussion on the adoption of HIT in California, which has significant potential to save the state as much as $8 billion annually from greater efficiency and reduced medical errors. Council members consulted in discussions with policy makers that led to proposed HIT bills in 2006 and 2007 and two executive orders. CCST is also providing peer review of a $300,000 project for the Governor’s HIT Financing Advisory Commission.

“CCST has played an important role as catalyst in the state’s advancement towards a comprehensive HIT system,” said Cathryn Nation, associate vice president for health sciences at the UC Office of the President. “Collectively, the FCC award and other new resources will help California develop an effective, sustainable and forward-looking telehealth network.”

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