The Department of Health and Human Services has awarded seven grants totaling $241 million to assist "early innovator" states in building the information technology infrastructure necessary to operate state-level health information exchanges mandated under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Exchanges implemented in the early innovator states will give others a variety of models to choose from, HHS hopes.

Six state health or insurance departments received early innovator funds, and the University of Massachusetts Medical School will lead a consortium of New England states. The state awards go to Kansas ($31.5 million), Maryland ($6.2 million), New York ($27.4 million), Oklahoma ($54.6 million), Oregon ($48.1 million) and Wisconsin ($37.8 million).

The New England consortium's award of $35.6 million will cover Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Vermont. More information is available here.

Goedert is the news editor at Health Data Management, a SourceMedia publication.

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