July 10, 2009 By News Report
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal yesterday signed the "Electronic Health Records Loan Program" to accelerate the use of health information technology in the state. The act allows the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals authority to apply for federal stimulus money and distribute it as loans to health care providers. The state will provide $5 million, to be matched with $25 million in federal funds if the application is approved. Health care facilities and physicians that use electronic health records will be eligible for enhanced Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements, and those that fail to implement will be penalized with lower reimbursements.
All over the country, community leaders are looking to boost economic development through various initiatives. One key element in many of those initiatives is the use of information technology. When local governments build IT infrastructure, create e-government applications, assist high-tech startups or otherwise focus on technology, they create conditions that draw businesses to their communities and help retain skilled workers. This paper discusses and provides examples of these various ways local government can use technology to ultimately make a community more attractive to businesses, visitors and residents.