The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology today award $38 million in grants aimed at improving data-sharing.

The grants were divided among 20 recipients in three categories:

  • $29.6 million to support efforts in 12 states to advance efforts to promote interoperability
  • $2.2 million to AcademyHealth to promote population health strategies in 15 communities
  • $6.7 million for enhanced workforce training

“As we move beyond adoption to a learning health system where information is available when and where it matters most, it is important to ensure greater care coordination at the community level, and these grants provide resources to meet this goal,” ONC chief Karen DeSalvo, M.D., stated.

Interoperability continues to be a problem for providers and the industry as a whole. Hearings in both the House and Senate this summer continue to keep the issue in the spotlight, especially the allegation of information-blocking.

Getting beyond politics, interoperability is essential as care and payment models move toward becoming more coordinated. The American Hospital Association formed the Interoperability Advisory Group, which issued a report earlier this month identifying some of the obstacles to data-sharing, and offered steps that both the public and private sectors can take to gain some momentum.