ARRA Health Information Technology Beacon Communities

The Beacon Community Program will provide funding to communities to build and strengthen their health information technology (health IT) infrastructure and exchange capabilities to demonstrate the vision of the future where hospitals, clinicians and patients are meaningful users of health IT, and together
the community achieves measurable improvements in health care quality, safety, efficiency, and population health.

Agency - Department of Health and Human Services

The Department of Health and Human Services is the Federal government's principal agency for protecting the health of all Americans and providing essential human services, especially to those who are least able to help themselves.

Program Accomplishments

Not Applicable.

Uses and Use Restrictions

Awarded communities must use the funding provided under this program to support health IT and information exchange infrastructure and implement performance measurement, quality improvement, and care coordination programs to achieve improvements in health care quality, safety, efficiency, and population health.

Funding can build and strengthen existing health IT and information exchange infrastructure and support 1) the use of health information technology by public health departments, 2) adoption of certified electronic health records (by providers not currently eligible for HIT incentive payments or regional HIT extension center assistance), 3) training on and dissemination of information on best practices to integrate health information technology into providers delivery of care, 4) infrastructure and tools for the promotion of telemedicine, 5) community-wide quality reporting repositories and registries, and 6) the protection of health information by all holders of individually identifiable health information.

None of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available in ARRA may be used by any state or local government, or any private entity, for any casino or other gambling establishment, aquarium, zoo, golf course, or swimming pool.

(ARRA Sec.


Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

The lead applicant which submits a Beacon Community application on behalf of their community must be a US-based non-profit organization or state, local, tribal or territorial government entity, but may represent a consortium of organizations and providers.

Private providers and insurers will be encouraged to participate in the consortia.

Beneficiary Eligibility

The identification and dissemination of best practices and lessons learned will directly benefit organizations and communities advancing health information technology and exchange. The knowledge attained by these awarded communities will, in turn, benefit the nation s communities as a whole.


If an applicant is a US-based non-profit entity it must provide documentation of its 501C (3) status or IRS determination letter, IRS tax exemption certificate, or letter from state taxing body verifying tax-exempt status. If the proposal is on behalf of a consortium, there must be letters of commitment from all members of the consortium which include their tax status. OMB Circular No. A-87 applies to this program.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

Preapplication coordination is not applicable.

Environmental impact information is not required for this program.

This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.


Application Procedures

OMB Circular No. A-102 applies to this program. OMB Circular No. A-110 applies to this program. This program is excluded from Executive Order 12372.

Applications are solicited by a program announcement. The availability of this announcement will be broadly published, including by posting on

All timely applications from eligible entities that conform to the requirements of the program announcement will be forwarded to an objective review committee which will make funding recommendations, based on the merits of the applications. The selection of awardees will be made by the Secretary of HHS, or designee.

Award Procedures

Following objective review of applications, those applicants whose applications have been selected by the Secretary of HHS (or designee) for funding will receive a Notice of Award signed by an HHS Grants Management Officer. The Notice of Award, which is sent to the applicant s Authorized Organizational Representative, is the only official notification of award. Unsuccessful applicants will be advised by letter.


Contact the headquarters or regional office, as appropriate, for application deadlines.


American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009, Division A, Title XIII, Part HITECH Act, Section 3011, Public Law 111-5.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

From 60 to 90 days.


Not Applicable.


Not Applicable.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

This program has no statutory formula.
This program has no matching requirements. There is no match required for this program.
MOE requirements are not applicable to this program.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Awards will be made for a 36 month project period with one 36 month budget period. Method of awarding/releasing assistance: lump sum.

Post Assistance Requirements


Program report requirements, if applicable, will be identified in the Program Announcement.

Cash report requirements, if applicable, will be identified in the Program Announcement.

Progress report requirements, if applicable, will be identified in the Program Announcement.

Recipients of Federal awards from funds authorized under Division A of the ARRA must comply with all requirements specified in Division A of the ARRA (Public Law 111-5), including reporting requirements outlined in Section 1512 of the Act.

ARRA reports will be required quarterly.

Reporting requirements for ARRA programs can be found at:

Applicants will submit annual progress reports as outlined in the Program Announcement.


In accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-133 (Revised, June 27, 2003), "Audits of States, Local Governments, and Non-Profit Organizations," nonfederal entities that expend financial assistance of $500,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Nonfederal entities that expend less than $500,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in Circular No. A-133.


Grantees are required to maintain records for a minimum of 3 years from the submission date of the final financial report. If any litigation, claim, negotiation, audit or other action involving the record has been started before the expiration of the 3- year period, the records shall be retained until the completion of the action and resolution of all issues which arise from it or until the end of the regular 3 year period, whichever is later.

Financial Information

Account Identification



(Salaries) FY 09 $0; FY 10 est $250,375,000; FY 11 est $0

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

Awards may range from a minimum of $10,000,000 to a maximum of $20,000,000. Average award amount is anticipated to be $15,000,000. 15 awards will be granted in Fiscal Year 2010.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

This program is subject to the provisions of 45 CFR Part 74, 45 CFR Part 92, and the HHS Grants Policy Statement located at: There are no program regulations.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office


Headquarters Office

Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology 200 Independence Avenue, SW, Suite 729D
, Washington, District of Columbia 20201 Email: Phone: 202-690-7151

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

Specific, detailed criteria for determining the merit of applications will be made available in the program announcements for this program. In general, all applicants are required to demonstrate capability to achieve specific and measurable health outcomes and health care efficiency objectives consistent with health IT enabled performance monitoring, feedback, practice redesign, and care coordination.

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