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Sec. 13301. Grant, Loan, and Demonstration Programs.

Title XXX of the Public Health Service Act, as added by section 13101, is amended by adding at the end the following new subtitle:

‘‘Subtitle B—Incentives for the Use of Health Information Technology

‘‘SEC. 3011. Immediate Funding to Strengthen the Health Information Technology Infrastructure.

‘‘(a) In General.—The Secretary shall, using amounts appropriated under section 3018, invest in the infrastructure necessary to allow for and promote the electronic exchange and use of health information for each individual in the United States consistent with the goals outlined in the strategic plan developed by the National Coordinator (and as available) under section 3001. The Secretary shall invest funds through the different agencies with expertise in such goals, such as the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, the Health Resources and Services Administration, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the Centers of Medicare & Medicaid Services, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Indian Health Service to support the following:

‘‘(1) Health information technology architecture that will support the nationwide electronic exchange and use of health information in a secure, private, and accurate manner, including connecting health information exchanges, and which may include updating and implementing the infrastructure necessary within different agencies of the Department of Health and Human Services to support the electronic use and exchange of health information. :

‘‘(2) Development and adoption of appropriate certified electronic health records for categories of health care providers not eligible for support under title XVIII or XIX of the Social Security Act for the adoption of such records. :

‘‘(3) Training on and dissemination of information on best practices to integrate health information technology, including electronic health records, into a provider’s delivery of care, consistent with best practices learned from the Health Information Technology Research Center developed under section 3012(b), including community health centers receiving assistance under section 330, covered entities under section 340B,and providers participating in one or more of the programs under titles XVIII, XIX, and XXI of the Social Security Act (relating to Medicare, Medicaid, and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program). :

‘‘(4) Infrastructure and tools for the promotion of telemedicine, including coordination among Federal agencies in the promotion of telemedicine. :

‘‘(5) Promotion of the interoperability of clinical data repositories or registries. :

‘‘(6) Promotion of technologies and best practices that enhance the protection of health information by all holders of individually identifiable health information. :

‘‘(7) Improvement and expansion of the use of health information technology by public health departments. :

‘‘(b) Coordination.—The Secretary shall ensure funds under this section are used in a coordinated manner with other health information promotion activities. :

‘‘(c) Additional Use of Funds.—In addition to using funds as provided in subsection (a), the Secretary may use amounts appropriated under section 3018 to carry out health information technology activities that are provided for under laws in effect on the date of the enactment of this title. :

‘‘(d) Standards for Acquisition of Health Information Technology.—To the greatest extent practicable, the Secretary shall ensure that where funds are expended under this section for the acquisition of health information technology, such funds shall be used to acquire health information technology that meets applicable standards adopted under section 3004. Where it is not practicable to expend funds on health information technology that meets such applicable standards, the Secretary shall ensure that such health information technology meets applicable standards otherwise adopted by the Secretary. :

‘‘SEC. 3012. Health Information Technology Implementation Assistance.

‘‘(a) Health Information Technology Extension Program.—To assist health care providers to adopt, implement, and effectively use certified EHR technology that allows for the electronic exchange and use of health information, the Secretary, acting through the Office of the National Coordinator, shall establish a health information technology extension program to provide health information technology assistance services to be carried out through the Department of Health and Human Services. The National Coordinator shall consult with other Federal agencies with demonstrated experience and expertise in information technology services, such as the National Institute of Standards and Technology, in developing and implementing this program. :

‘‘(b) Health Information Technology Research Center.— :

‘‘(1) In General.—The Secretary shall create a Health Information Technology Research Center (in this section referred to as the ‘Center’) to provide technical assistance and develop or recognize best practices to support and accelerate efforts to adopt, implement, and effectively utilize health information technology that allows for the electronic exchange and use of information in compliance with standards, implementation specifications, and certification criteria adopted under section 3004. :

‘‘(2) Input.—The Center shall incorporate input from—:

‘‘(A) other Federal agencies with demonstrated experience and expertise in information technology services such as the National Institute of Standards and Technology; :

‘‘(B) users of health information technology, such as providers and their support and clerical staff and others involved in the care and care coordination of patients, from the health care and health information technology industry; and:

‘‘(C) others as appropriate. :

‘‘(3) Purposes.—The purposes of the Center are to—:

‘‘(A) provide a forum for the exchange of knowledge and experience; :

‘‘(B) accelerate the transfer of lessons learned from existing public and private sector initiatives, including those currently receiving Federal financial support; :

‘‘(C) assemble, analyze, and widely disseminate evidence and experience related to the adoption, implementation, and effective use of health information technology that allows for the electronic exchange and use of information including through the regional centers described in subsection (c); :

‘‘(D) provide technical assistance for the establishment and evaluation of regional and local health information networks to facilitate the electronic exchange of information across health care settings and improve the quality of health care; :

‘‘(E) provide technical assistance for the development and dissemination of solutions to barriers to the exchange of electronic health information; and:

‘‘(F) learn about effective strategies to adopt and utilize health information technology in medically under served communities. :

‘‘(c) Health Information Technology Regional Extension Centers.— :

‘‘(1) In General.—The Secretary shall provide assistance for the creation and support of regional centers (in this subsection referred to as ‘regional centers ’) to provide technical assistance and disseminate best practices and other information learned from the Center to support and accelerate efforts to adopt, implement, and effectively utilize health information technology that allows for the electronic exchange and use of information in compliance with standards, implementation specifications, and certification criteria adopted under section 3004. Activities conducted under this subsection shall be consistent with the strategic plan developed by the National Coordinator, (and, as available) under section 3001. :

‘‘(2) Affiliation.—Regional centers shall be affiliated with any United States-based nonprofit institution or organization, or group thereof, that applies and is awarded financial assistance under this section. Individual awards shall be decided on the basis of merit. :

‘‘(3) Objective.—The objective of the regional centers is to enhance and promote the adoption of health information technology through—:

‘‘(A) assistance with the implementation, effective use, upgrading, and ongoing maintenance of health information technology, including electronic health records, to healthcare providers nationwide; :

‘‘(B) broad participation of individuals from industry, universities, and State governments; :

‘‘(C) active dissemination of best practices and research on the implementation, effective use, upgrading, and ongoing maintenance of health information technology, including electronic health records, to health care providers in order to improve the quality of healthcare and protect the privacy and security of health information; :

‘‘(D) participation, to the extent practicable, in health information exchanges; :

‘‘(E) utilization, when appropriate, of the expertise and capability that exists in Federal agencies other than the Department; and:

‘‘(F) integration of health information technology, including electronic health records, into the initial and ongoing training of health professionals and others in the healthcare industry that would be instrumental to improving the quality of healthcare through the smooth and accurate electronic use and exchange of health information. :

‘‘(4) Regional Assistance.—Each regional center shall aim to provide assistance and education to all providers in a region, but shall prioritize any direct assistance first to the following: :

‘‘(A) Public or not-for-profit hospitals or critical access hospitals. :

‘‘(B) Federally qualified health centers (as defined in section 1861(aa)(4) of the Social Security Act). :

‘‘(C) Entities that are located in rural and other areas that serve uninsured, under insured, and medically under served individuals (regardless of whether such area is urban or rural). :

‘‘(D) Individual or small group practices (or a consortium thereof) that are primarily focused on primary care. :

‘‘(5) Financial Support.—The Secretary may provide financial support to any regional center created under this subsection for a period not to exceed four years. The Secretary may not provide more than 50 percent of the capital and annual operating and maintenance funds required to create and maintain such a center, except in an instance of national economic conditions which would render this cost-share requirement detrimental to the program and upon notification to Congress as to the justification to waive the cost-share requirement. :

‘‘(6) Notice of Program Description and Availability of Funds.—The Secretary shall publish in the Federal Register, not later than 90 days after the date of the enactment of this title, a draft description of the program for establishing regional centers under this subsection. Such description shall include the following: :

‘‘(A) A detailed explanation of the program and the programs goals. :

‘‘(B) Procedures to be followed by the applicants. :

‘‘(C) Criteria for determining qualified applicants. :

‘‘(D) Maximum support levels expected to be available to centers under the program. :

‘‘(7) Application Review.—The Secretary shall subject each application under this subsection to merit review. In making a decision whether to approve such application and provide financial support, the Secretary shall consider at a minimum the merits of the application, including those portions of the application regarding—:

‘‘(A) the ability of the applicant to provide assistance under this subsection and utilization of health information technology appropriate to the needs of particular categories of health care providers; :

‘‘(B) the types of service to be provided to health care providers; :

‘‘(C) geographical diversity and extent of service area; and:

‘‘(D) the percentage of funding and amount of in-kind commitment from other sources. :

‘‘(8) Biennial Evaluation.—Each regional center which receives financial assistance under this subsection shall be evaluated biennially by an evaluation panel appointed by the Secretary. Each evaluation panel shall be composed of private experts, none of whom shall be connected with the center involved, and of Federal officials. Each evaluation panel shall measure the involved center’s performance against the objective specified in paragraph (3). The Secretary shall not continue to provide funding to a regional center unless its evaluation is overall positive. :

‘‘(9) Continuing Support.—After the second year of assistance under this subsection, a regional center may receive additional support under this subsection if it has received positive evaluations and a finding by the Secretary that continuation of Federal funding to the center was in the best interest of provision of health information technology extension services. :

‘‘SEC. 3013. State Grants to Promote Health Information Technology.

‘‘(a) In General.—The Secretary, acting through the National Coordinator, shall establish a program in accordance with this section to facilitate and expand the electronic movement and use of health information among organizations according to nationally recognized standards. :

‘‘(b) Planning Grants.—The Secretary may award a grant to a State or qualified State-designated entity (as described in subsection (f)) that submits an application to the Secretary at such time, in such manner, and containing such information as the Secretary may specify, for the purpose of planning activities described in subsection (d). :

‘‘(c) Implementation Grants.—The Secretary may award a grant to a State or qualified State designated entity that—:

‘‘(1) has submitted, and the Secretary has approved, a plan described in subsection (e) (regardless of whether such plan was prepared using amounts awarded under subsection (b); and:

‘‘(2) submits an application at such time, in such manner, and containing such information as the Secretary may specify. :

‘‘(d) Use of Funds.—Amounts received under a grant under subsection (c) shall be used to conduct activities to facilitate and expand the electronic movement and use of health information among organizations according to nationally recognized standards through activities that include—:

‘‘(1) enhancing broad and varied participation in the authorized and secure nationwide electronic use and exchange of health information; :

‘‘(2) identifying State or local resources available towards a nationwide effort to promote health information technology; :

‘‘(3) complementing other Federal grants, programs, and efforts towards the promotion of health information technology; :

‘‘(4) providing technical assistance for the development and dissemination of solutions to barriers to the exchange of electronic health information; :

‘‘(5) promoting effective strategies to adopt and utilize health information technology in medically under served communities; :

‘‘(6) assisting patients in utilizing health information technology; :

‘‘(7) encouraging clinicians to work with Health Information Technology Regional Extension Centers as described in section 3012, to the extent they are available and valuable; :

‘‘(8) supporting public health agencies’ authorized use of and access to electronic health information; :

‘‘(9) promoting the use of electronic health records for quality improvement including through quality measures reporting; and:

‘‘(10) such other activities as the Secretary may specify. :

‘‘(e) Plan.— :

‘‘(1) In General.—A plan described in this subsection is a plan that describes the activities to be carried out by a State or by the qualified State-designated entity within such State to facilitate and expand the electronic movement and use of health information among organizations according to nationally recognized standards and implementation specifications. :

‘‘(2) Required Elements.—A plan described in paragraph (1) shall—:

‘‘(A) be pursued in the public interest; :

‘‘(B) be consistent with the strategic plan developed by the National Coordinator, (and, as available) under section 3001; :

‘‘(C) include a description of the ways the State or qualified State-designated entity will carry out the activities described in subsection (b); and:

‘‘(D) contain such elements as the Secretary may require. :

‘‘(f) Qualified State-Designated Entity.—For purposes of this section, to be a qualified State-designated entity, with respect to a State, an entity shall—:

‘‘(1) be designated by the State as eligible to receive award sunder this section; :

‘‘(2) be a not-for-profit entity with broad stakeholder representation on its governing board; :

‘‘(3) demonstrate that one of its principal goals is to use information technology to improve health care quality and efficiency through the authorized and secure electronic exchange and use of health information; :

‘‘(4) adopt nondiscrimination and conflict of interest policies that demonstrate a commitment to open, fair, and nondiscriminatory participation by stakeholders; and:

‘‘(5) conform to such other requirements as the Secretary may establish. :

‘‘(g) Required Consultation.—In carrying out activities described in subsections (b) and (c), a State or qualified State designated entity shall consult with and consider the recommendations of—:

‘‘(1) health care providers (including providers that provide services to low income and under served populations); :

‘‘(2) health plans; :

‘‘(3) patient or consumer organizations that represent the population to be served; :

‘‘(4) health information technology vendors; :

‘‘(5) health care purchasers and employers; :

‘‘(6) public health agencies; :

‘‘(7) health professions schools, universities and colleges; :

‘‘(8) clinical researchers; :

‘‘(9) other users of health information technology such as the support and clerical staff of providers and others involved in the care and care coordination of patients; and:

‘‘(10) such other entities, as may be determined appropriate by the Secretary. :

‘‘(h) Continuous Improvement.—The Secretary shall annually evaluate the activities conducted under this section and shall, in awarding grants under this section, implement the lessons learned from such evaluation in a manner so that awards made subsequent to each such evaluation are made in a manner that, in the determination of the Secretary, will lead towards the greatest improvement in quality of care, decrease in costs, and the most effective authorized and secure electronic exchange of health information. :

‘‘(i) Required Match.— :

‘‘(1) In General.—For a fiscal year (beginning with fiscal year 2011), the Secretary may not make a grant under this section to a State unless the State agrees to make available on-Federal contributions (which may include in-kind contributions) toward the costs of a grant awarded under subsection (c) in an amount equal to—:

‘‘(A) for fiscal year 2011, not less than $1 for each $10 of Federal funds provided under the grant; :

‘‘(B) for fiscal year 2012, not less than $1 for each $7 of Federal funds provided under the grant; and:

‘‘(C) for fiscal year 2013 and each subsequent fiscal year, not less than $1 for each $3 of Federal funds provided under the grant. :

‘‘(2) Authority to Require State Match for Fiscal Years Before Fiscal Year 2011.—For any fiscal year during the grant program under this section before fiscal year 2011, the Secretary may determine the extent to which there shall be required a non-Federal contribution from a State receiving a grant under this section. :

‘‘SEC. 3014. Competitive Grants to States and Indian Tribes for the Development of Loan Programs to Facilitate the Widespread Adoption of Certified EHR Technology.

‘‘(a) In General.—The National Coordinator may award competitive grants to eligible entities for the establishment of programs for loans to health care providers to conduct the activities described in subsection (e). :

‘‘(b) Eligible Entity Defined.—For purposes of this subsection, the term ‘eligible entity’ means a State or Indian tribe (as defined in the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act) that—:

‘‘(1) submits to the National Coordinator an application at such time, in such manner, and containing such information as the National Coordinator may require; :

‘‘(2) submits to the National Coordinator a strategic plan in accordance with subsection (d) and provides to the National Coordinator assurances that the entity will update such plan annually in accordance with such subsection; :

‘‘(3) provides assurances to the National Coordinator that the entity will establish a Loan Fund in accordance with subsection (c); :

‘‘(4) provides assurances to the National Coordinator that the entity will not provide a loan from the Loan Fund to a health care provider unless the provider agrees to—:

‘‘(A) submit reports on quality measures adopted by the Federal Government (by not later than 90 days after the date on which such measures are adopted), to—:

‘‘(i) the Administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (or his or her designee), in the case of an entity participating in the Medicare program under title XVIII of the Social Security Act or the Medicaid program under title XIX of such Act; or:

‘‘(ii) the Secretary in the case of other entities; :

‘‘(B) demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Secretary (through criteria established by the Secretary) that any certified EHR technology purchased, improved, or otherwise financially supported under a loan under this section is used to exchange health information in a manner that, in accordance with law and standards (as adopted under section 3004) applicable to the exchange of information, improves the quality of health care, such as promoting care coordination; and:

‘‘(C) comply with such other requirements as the entity or the Secretary may require; :

‘‘(D) include a plan on how health care providers involved intend to maintain and support the certified EHR technology over time; :

‘‘(E) include a plan on how the health care providers involved intend to maintain and support the certified EHR technology that would be purchased with such loan, including the type of resources expected to be involved and any such other information as the State or Indian Tribe, respectively, may require; and:

‘‘(5) agrees to provide matching funds in accordance with subsection (h). :

‘‘(c) Establishment of Fund.—For purposes of subsection (b)(3), an eligible entity shall establish a certified EHR technology loan fund (referred to in this subsection as a ‘Loan Fund’) and comply with the other requirements contained in this section. A grant to an eligible entity under this section shall be deposited in the Loan Fund established by the eligible entity. No funds authorized by other provisions of this title to be used for other purposes specified in this title shall be deposited in any Loan Fund. :

‘‘(d) Strategic Plan.— :

‘‘(1) In General.—For purposes of subsection (b)(2), a strategic plan of an eligible entity under this subsection shall identify the intended uses of amounts available to the Loan Fund of such entity. :

‘‘(2) Contents.—A strategic plan under paragraph (1), with respect to a Loan Fund of an eligible entity, shall include for a year the following: :

‘‘(A) A list of the projects to be assisted through the Loan Fund during such year. :

‘‘(B) A description of the criteria and methods established for the distribution of funds from the Loan Fund during the year. :

‘‘(C) A description of the financial status of the Loan Fund as of the date of submission of the plan. :

‘‘(D) The short-term and long-term goals of the Loan Fund. :

‘‘(e) Use of Funds.—Amounts deposited in a Loan Fund, including loan repayments and interest earned on such amounts, shall be used only for awarding loans or loan guarantees, making reimbursements described in subsection (g)(4)(A), or as a source of reserve and security for leveraged loans, the proceeds of which are deposited in the Loan Fund established under subsection (c). Loans under this section may be used by a health care provider to—:

‘‘(1) facilitate the purchase of certified EHR technology; :

‘‘(2) enhance the utilization of certified EHR technology (which may include costs associated with upgrading health information technology so that it meets criteria necessary to be a certified EHR technology); :

‘‘(3) train personnel in the use of such technology; or:

‘‘(4) improve the secure electronic exchange of health information. :

‘‘(f) Types of Assistance.—Except as otherwise limited by applicable State law, amounts deposited into a Loan Fund under this section may only be used for the following: :

‘‘(1) To award loans that comply with the following: :

‘‘(A) The interest rate for each loan shall not exceed the market interest rate. :

‘‘(B) The principal and interest payments on each loan shall commence not later than 1 year after the date the loan was awarded, and each loan shall be fully amortized not later than 10 years after the date of the loan. :

‘‘(C) The Loan Fund shall be credited with all payments of principal and interest on each loan awarded from the Loan Fund.

‘‘(2) To guarantee, or purchase insurance for, a local obligation (all of the proceeds of which finance a project eligible for assistance under this subsection) if the guarantee or purchase would improve credit market access or reduce the interest rate applicable to the obligation involved. :

‘‘(3) As a source of revenue or security for the payment of principal and interest on revenue or general obligation bonds issued by the eligible entity if the proceeds of the sale of the bonds will be deposited into the Loan Fund. :

‘‘(4) To earn interest on the amounts deposited into the Loan Fund. :

‘‘(5) To make reimbursements described in subsection (g)(4)(A). :

‘‘(g) Administration of Loan Funds.— :

‘‘(1) Combined Financial Administration.—An eligible entity may (as a convenience and to avoid unnecessary administrative costs) combine, in accordance with applicable State law, the financial administration of a Loan Fund established under this subsection with the financial administration of any other revolving fund established by the entity if otherwise not prohibited by the law under which the Loan Fund was established. :

‘‘(2) Cost of Administering Fund.—Each eligible entity may annually use not to exceed 4 percent of the funds provided to the entity under a grant under this section to pay the reasonable costs of the administration of the programs under this section, including the recovery of reasonable costs expended to establish a Loan Fund which are incurred after the date of the enactment of this title. :

‘‘(3) Guidance and Regulations.—The National Coordinator shall publish guidance and promulgate regulations as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of this section, including—:

‘‘(A) provisions to ensure that each eligible entity commits and expends funds allotted to the entity under this section as efficiently as possible in accordance with this title and applicable State laws; and:

‘‘(B) guidance to prevent waste, fraud, and abuse. :

‘‘(4) Private Sector Contributions.— :

‘‘(A) In General.—A Loan Fund established under this section may accept contributions from private sector entities, except that such entities may not specify the recipient or recipients of any loan issued under this subsection. An eligible entity may agree to reimburse a private sector entity for any contribution made under this subparagraph, except that the amount of such reimbursement may not be greater than the principal amount of the contribution made. :

‘‘(B) Availability of Information.—An eligible entity shall make publicly available the identity of, and amount contributed by, any private sector entity under subparagraph (A) and may issue letters of commendation or make other awards (that have no financial value) to any such entity. :

‘‘(h) Matching Requirements.— :

‘‘(1) In General.—The National Coordinator may not make a grant under subsection (a) to an eligible entity unless the entity agrees to make available (directly or through donations from public or private entities) non-Federal contributions in cash to the costs of carrying out the activities for which the grant is awarded in an amount equal to not less than $1 for each $5 of Federal funds provided under the grant. :

‘‘(2) Determination of Amount of Non-Federal Contribution.—In determining the amount of non-Federal contributions that an eligible entity has provided pursuant to subparagraph (A), the National Coordinator may not include any amounts provided to the entity by the Federal Government. :

‘‘(i) Effective Date.—The Secretary may not make an award under this section prior to January 1, 2010. :

‘‘SEC. 3015. Demonstration Program To Integrate Information Technology Into Clinical Education.

‘‘(a) In General.—The Secretary may award grants under this section to carry out demonstration projects to develop academic curricula integrating certified EHR technology in the clinical education of health professionals. Such awards shall be made on a competitive basis and pursuant to peer review. :

‘‘(b) Eligibility.—To be eligible to receive a grant under subsection (a), an entity shall—:

‘‘(1) submit to the Secretary an application at such time, in such manner, and containing such information as the Secretary may require; :

‘‘(2) submit to the Secretary a strategic plan for integrating certified EHR technology in the clinical education of health professionals to reduce medical errors, increase access to prevention, reduce chronic diseases, and enhance health care quality; :

‘‘(3) be—:

‘‘(A) a school of medicine, osteopathic medicine, dentistry, or pharmacy, a graduate program in behavioral or mental health, or any other graduate health professions school; :

‘‘(B) a graduate school of nursing or physician assistant studies; :

‘‘(C) a consortium of two or more schools described in subparagraph (A) or (B); or:

‘‘(D) an institution with a graduate medical education program in medicine, osteopathic medicine, dentistry, pharmacy, nursing, or physician assistance studies; :

‘‘(4) provide for the collection of data regarding the effectiveness of the demonstration project to be funded under the grant in improving the safety of patients, the efficiency of healthcare delivery, and in increasing the likelihood that graduates of the grantee will adopt and incorporate certified EHR technology, in the delivery of health care services; and:

‘‘(5) provide matching funds in accordance with subsection (d). :

‘‘(c) Use of Funds.— :

‘‘(1) In General.—With respect to a grant under subsection (a), an eligible entity shall—:

‘‘(A) use grant funds in collaboration with 2 or more disciplines; and:

‘‘(B) use grant funds to integrate certified EHR technology into community-based clinical education. :

‘‘(2) Limitation.—An eligible entity shall not use amounts received under a grant under subsection (a) to purchase hardware, software, or services. :

‘‘(d) Financial Support.—The Secretary may not provide more than 50 percent of the costs of any activity for which assistance is provided under subsection (a), except in an instance of national economic conditions which would render the cost-share requirement under this subsection detrimental to the program and upon notification to Congress as to the justification to waive the cost-share requirement. :

‘‘(e) Evaluation.—The Secretary shall take such action as may be necessary to evaluate the projects funded under this section and publish, make available, and disseminate the results of such evaluations on as wide a basis as is practicable. :

‘‘(f) Reports.—Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this title, and annually thereafter, the Secretary shall submit to the Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions and the Committee on Finance of the Senate, and the Committee on Energy and Commerce of the House of Representatives a report that—:

‘‘(1) describes the specific projects established under this section; and:

‘‘(2) contains recommendations for Congress based on the evaluation conducted under subsection (e). :

‘‘SEC. 3016. Information Technology Professionals In Healthcare.

‘‘(a) In General.—The Secretary, in consultation with the Director of the National Science Foundation, shall provide assistance to institutions of higher education (or consortia thereof) to establish or expand medical health informatics education programs, including certification, undergraduate, and masters degree programs, for both health care and information technology students to ensure the rapid and effective utilization and development of health information technologies (in the United States health care infrastructure). :

‘‘(b) Activities.—Activities for which assistance may be provided under subsection (a) may include the following: :

‘‘(1) Developing and revising curricula in medical health informatics and related disciplines. :

‘‘(2) Recruiting and retaining students to the program involved. :

‘‘(3) Acquiring equipment necessary for student instruction in these programs, including the installation of testbed networks for student use. :

‘‘(4) Establishing or enhancing bridge programs in the health informatics fields between community colleges and universities. :

‘‘(c) Priority.—In providing assistance under subsection (a), the Secretary shall give preference to the following: :

‘‘(1) Existing education and training programs. :

‘‘(2) Programs designed to be completed in less than six months. :

‘‘SEC. 3017. General Grant and Loan Provisions.

‘‘(a) Reports.—The Secretary may require that an entity receiving assistance under this subtitle shall submit to the Secretary, not later than the date that is 1 year after the date of receipt of such assistance, a report that includes—:

‘‘(1) an analysis of the effectiveness of the activities for which the entity receives such assistance, as compared to the goals for such activities; and:

‘‘(2) an analysis of the impact of the project on healthcare quality and safety. :

‘‘(b) Requirement to Improve Quality of Care and Decrease in Costs.—The National Coordinator shall annually evaluate the activities conducted under this subtitle and shall, in awarding grants, implement the lessons learned from such evaluation in a manner so that awards made subsequent to each such evaluation are made in a manner that, in the determination of the National Coordinator, will result in the greatest improvement in the quality and efficiency of health care. :

‘‘SEC. 3018. Authorization For Appropriations.

‘‘For the purposes of carrying out this subtitle, there is authorized to be appropriated such sums as may be necessary for each of the fiscal years 2009 through 2013.’’.

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