Ann Arbor-based Altarum Institute has been awarded a grant of $19,619,990 by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to serve as the lead agent in establishing Michigan’s health information technology regional extension center, the Michigan Center for Effective IT Adoption (M-CEITA, www.mceita.org). The grant will be administered through the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology and managed and sponsored by Altarum. It is expected to create over 100 new jobs in Michigan.
“Health information technology holds the promise of bringing transformational change to health care,” said Altarum Institute President and CEO Lincoln Smith. “With this grant, M-CEITA will act as an advocate for providers across Michigan, giving them the support they need as they adopt critical technology and considerably improve the quality of care we all receive.”
MOA appointed Paul D. Ponstein, D.O., medical director for the Westshore Health Network as its representative to the M-CEITA board. He believes this could be a help to osteopathic physicians, especially those in smaller practices.
“Osteopathic physicians have traditionally been willing to serve in smaller communities in one-to-four-physician practices. These are also the physicians that, for very good reasons, have not adopted EMR technology,” he said. “I believe ARRA stimulus funding and extension IT services, such as those M-CEITA can offer, make a solid business case possible for these offices.”
M-CEITA is a partnership of 13 Michigan organizations, including the Michigan Public Health Institute; MPRO: Michigan’s Quality Improvement Organization; Michigan Primary Care Association; Michigan State Medical Society; Michigan Osteopathic Association; Alliance for Health; Michigan Health & Hospital Association; University of Michigan; Michigan State University; Wayne State University; Upper Peninsula Health Care Network; and Central Michigan University Research Corporation. M-CEITA will also be supported through an additional $1 million grant from The Kresge Foundation.
M-CEITA’s collective mission is “to provide education, outreach, and technical assistance to improve the quality and value of health care delivery in our state.” As Michigan’s health information technology regional extension center, M-CEITA will offer electronic health record adoption assistance services to the approximately 17,000 primary care providers in Michigan. M-CEITA will also help Michigan providers maximize their share of over $700 million in federal incentives available to decrease financial barriers to HIT adoption.
The American Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2009 established the health information technology regional extension center program as part of an overall initiative to modernize health practices, adopt and use technology, share critical patient information, and meaningfully use HIT.