Indian Health Service Releases $500 Million in Stimulus Funding To Improve Health Care for American Indian, Alaska Native Communities
The Indian Health Service on Wednesday announced it will release $500 million in federal economic stimulus funding to improve health care for American Indian and Alaska Native communities, Health Data Management reports. The funding includes $85 million for health information technology that aims to decrease errors and modernize administrative processes, enhance hardware and network infrastructure, integrate software and support telehealth services, according to Health Data Management.
In addition, the stimulus funding will go toward building new hospitals, purchasing medical equipment, and health facility maintenance and improvement projects (Goedert, Health Data Management, 5/20). Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska) noted that Alaska will receive $182.2 million in funding for 72 projects in more than 30 Alaska communities. Begich said, "This money to improve the delivery of health care across rural Alaska is greatly needed," adding, "These upgrades include emergency room renovations, ambulance bay extensions, better radiology services and a variety of other projects big and small that will help better serve Native communities throughout our state" (Tundra Drums, 5/21).