(Reuters) Members of President Barack Obama's Cabinet announced nearly $1 billion in grants on Friday to increase the use of health information technology, pushing a key component of his healthcare overhaul and job creation plans.
The money will be used to help make healthcare information technology available to over 100,000 hospitals and primary care physicians by 2014, and train thousands of people for careers in healthcare and information technology. The White House said grant recipients had identified about 10,000 openings for skilled workers likely to become available within the next two years.
President Obama's push to overhaul the $2.5 billion U.S. healthcare system has floundered since Democrats lost Senate control last month. The White House has pivoted away from healthcare to focus on job creation since that vote, mindful that the country's relatively high unemployment rate is a major concern.
The push for wider use of technology in healthcare could affect a range of companies, including Microsoft, Google, McKesson Corp. and Allscripts Misys Healthcare Solutions, Inc.