ONC Releases Evaluation of the Beacon Community Cooperative Agreement Program

Beacon Community Cooperative Agreement ProgramBrief Explores Differences on How Each Beacon Community Operates

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology’s Beacon Community Cooperative Agreement Program funds 17 communities across the U.S. The Beacon Community Program is an initiative of the HITECH Act and supports our national effort to advance EHR adoption and meaningful use. The three goals of the Beacon Community Program are to:

  1. To build and strengthen health IT and measurement infrastructures.
  2. Improve efficiency, quality, and population health.
  3. Test innovative approaches to care delivery, performance measurement, and technology integration.

As part of monitoring the progress of the Beacon Community Program, the ONC has contracted NORC at the University of Chicago to evaluate the program through its entirety. Last week the ONC released a brief  giving an overview of the 17 communities that make up the program,  summing up each one’s demographic makeup, the state of the health-care marketplace in which it operates and its organizational characteristics. You can read a PDF of the brief Evaluation of the Beacon Community Cooperative Agreement Program.

The NORC brief and analysis provides a “critical foundation for the independent evaluation of the Beacon Community Cooperative Agreement Program by detailing the range of contextual factors, baseline characteristics, and intervention components that shape the Beacon Communities and the activities they are leading.” The brief concludes that given the “complexity and heterogeneity of the Beacon Communities’ efforts, a solid understanding of the Program’s successes will be greatly enhanced by an empirical grounding in the salient characteristics of each Community and its work.”

Read more about the Beacon Community Cooperative Program on the ONC’s website.