Health Information Technology
Program Criteria: New Jersey’s Program Criteria and Application Information
Total Stimulus Appropriation: $19 Billion
New Jersey’s Portion: Unknown at this time
Allocation Method: A combination of grants, loans and technical assistance programs.
Program Overview
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act includes several provisions designed to advance the appropriate use of health information technology to improve the quality of care and establish a foundation for health care reform.

To achieve the vision of a transformed health system that health information technology (HIT) can facilitate, there are three critical short-term requisites.

  • State Grants to Promote Health Information Technology (State Health Information Exchange Cooperative Agreements Program), authorized by Section 3013 of the Public Health Service Act (PHSA) as amended by ARRA - to promote health information exchange (HIE) that will advance mechanisms for information sharing across the health care system. [States will receive funding based on a formula between $4 million -- $40 million; there is a match requirement beginning in FY2011]
  • Health Information Technology Extension Program (Extension Program), authorized by Section 3012 of the Public Health Service Act (PHSA) as amended by ARRA - will establish a collaborative consortium of Health Information Technology Regional Extension Centers (Regional Centers) facilitated by the national Health Information Technology Research Center (HITRC) and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONCHIT). The Extension Program will offer providers across the nation technical assistance in the selection, acquisition, implementation, and meaningful use of an EHR to improve health care quality and outcomes. Qualifying entities may apply and are not to be convened by states.
  • Information Technology Professionals in Health Care (Workforce Program), authorized by Section 3016 of the PHSA as amended by ARRA - to fund the training and development of a workforce that will meet short-term HITECH Act programmatic needs.
  • Medicare and Medicaid Health Information Technology, Division B, Title IV of ARRA. This program provides incentive payments through Medicare and Medicaid for adoption and meaningful use of Electronic Health Records for hospitals and eligible health-care professionals (physicians) from 2011-2015. Funding is formula-based. New Jersey’s Department of Human Services is developing a comprehensive plan to implement this Title. 

The State of New Jersey plans to apply for and integrate funding under these programs.

The following plans relate to the first of these, the State Health Information Exchange Cooperative Agreement Program.  The purpose of the program is to continuously improve and expand health information exchange services to reach all health care providers in an effort to improve the quality and efficiency of health care.  The program will build off of existing efforts to advance regional and state level HIE while moving toward nationwide interoperability. 

According to the federal guidance on this program, developing capacity for HIE is an incremental process that requires demonstrated progress across five essential domains: governance, finance, technical infrastructure, business and technical operations, and legal/policy.  To fully realize HIE, states will need to plan, implement and evaluate activities across all five HIE domains. 

Funding will be distributed on a rolling basis, in what are called “Planning Funds” and “Implementation Funds.” States that submit an application are guaranteed planning funds.  To receive implementation funds under this program, the State of New Jersey must submit a Strategic Plan and an Operational Plan that address the five domains and are approved by the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.  To that end, New Jersey’s grant application must include projects that help New Jersey accomplish the goals of its strategic and operational plans.

Timeline for Grant Application
  • Sept 10: Distribute notice of grant availability and application for grant funds to interested parties, both private-sector and public-sector entities
  • Through October 2: Develop state strategic plan with help of consultant
  • September 11: Submit our letter of intent to ONC; have a conference call with interested parties/projects
  • September 25: Project applications must be submitted to State by COB
  • September 25-October 2/5: Selection committee reviews and selects projects; finalizes draft state application
  • October 7: Submit draft state application to Accountability Task Force for Review
  • Early October: Notify applicants whether their projects will be part of the State of New Jersey’s grant application to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology.   If so, additional information may be requested.
  • October 16: Submit grant application to ONC
  • December 15: Awards are announced
  • Inform applicants included in the New Jersey application of the federal decisions and of their funding status.
  • January 15, 2010: Anticipated Project Start State
Grant Selection and Management
Selection Committee
The selection committee will consist of professional staff from the Department of Health and Senior Services; the Department of Banking and Insurance; the Department of Human Services, including the HIT Commission; the Department of Children and Families; and the Office of Information Technology.  The selection committee will choose projects based on the scoring criteria.  The state may have to adjust its operational plan based on the amount of funding received, and will prioritize projects that leverage the funding that Medicaid administers for HIT.

Grant Management
The New Jersey Health Care Facilities Financing Authority will be the central financial accountability arm enforcing ARRA and state regulations.

The management of the grant will be advised by a steering committee, made up of professional staff from the Departments listed above.

All financial documents related to each approved private-sector and public-sector health-information exchange project, including required reports, will be submitted to HCFFA for review and eventual submission to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Office of the National Coordinator. HCFFA will retain the right to audit any and all projects, including contracts to ‘sub-recipients’ under the definitions within the federal Office of Management and Budget guidance.

New Jersey Medicaid (DMAHS) will maintain authority as the central enforcers of technical accountability of the projects.  In practice, that will mean each project will yield sample data to send to Medicaid proving their progress, along their own proposed timelines, in accomplishing the posited health-information exchange and in utilizing the information to achieve “meaningful use” of clinical data. Medicaid will liaise with HCFFA to ensure that quarterly ARRA reports for each project within the State grant are complete.