The grants were the first in a series being offered in coming years. They were only available to providers who have a certain number of Medicaid patients and already switched to the new system, said Lt. Gov. Anthony G. Brown.
Officials recognized that the cost could be a major hurdle for some doctors' offices and hospitals. Physicians, nurse practitioners, certified nurse-midwives, dentists and physicians assistants who participate in Medicaid can apply for $21,500 in federal grant money in the first year and $8,500 in subsequent years. Hospitals could get up to a $2 million base payment.
So far, 449 providers and hospitals have applied for the money, made available through the federal health care reform law.