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February 12th, 2010
Grijalva Calls on Arizona to Leverage New Health Technology Funding to Benefit At-Risk, Uninsured Residents

Washington, D.C. – The Arizona Office of Economic Recovery today received more than $9.3 million from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to upgrade health information technology around the state – funds that Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva said should be used as much as possible to extend assistance to underserved populations.

“This money gives us a welcome opportunity to better track and analyze the health habits of Arizonans who lack access to high-quality health coverage,” Grijalva said. “Maximizing the benefits of these funds means helping those who need it most. The state should make it a priority to share data between state and federal health care agencies on high-risk populations and uninsured workers.”

The funds are part of a nationwide HHS effort to improve the efficient use of health information. Personalized electronic health records, which HHS seeks to expand, are portable between doctors and make it easier to diagnose and treat many conditions because they provide an accurate health history without the need for frequent tests or physicals. Grijalva said electronic records are an important element of overall national health care reform.

“Tracking your health data over time, and making it quickly available to any doctor you may choose to visit, is an important way to cut down on expensive and unnecessary testing,” Grijalva said. “If these funds are spent intelligently, Arizonans will be repaid tenfold in the money they save over the next several years.”

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