Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Recent State Legislation

Several states have recently introduced legislation in New Mexico, Iowa, Oregon, and Oklahoma on topics related to health technology.

Bill Richardson Governor of New Mexico in his state’s Health Solutions Plan wants to see the use of electronic medical records ahead in the state. The plan in general has gained support from businesses, healthcare providers, the Women’s Health Advisory Council, the NM Medical Society, and other groups in the state.

The bill HB 37 was introduced in the NM House Health and Government Affairs Committee in January to help control costs in healthcare and to increase quality by implementing a plan to maintain, use, and protect electronic medical records. On January 22, 2008, HB 37 was unanimously passed by the House Committee.

In February two bills (HSB 636 and SSB 3140) were introduced in the state of Iowa to establish the Iowa Health Care Coverage Exchange. As part of the requirements for the Exchange, all participating healthcare providers would have to use electronic medical records. Information technology would be used to support optimal patient care, performance measures, patient education, and to enhance communications.

The state legislature of Oklahoma, is considering (SB 1719) to create the Task Force on Health Information Technology. The Task Force would study existing state and federal health information technology initiatives, identify health IT needs in the state, and examine strategies for integrating health IT into state public health systems.

The bill (S 1712) submitted to the Oklahoma state legislature would establish an online web site to help consumers find the most affordable prescription drugs. The online site would be called the Oklahoma Prescription Drug Retail Price Registry, otherwise to be known as the Consumer’s Choice Registry. The site would enable consumers to search retail prices at state pharmacies for the 150 most prescribed pharmaceuticals. All of the pharmacies in the state would be required to routinely submit retail prices to the site to be administered by the Oklahoma Department of Health.