Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Wisconsin Sets up eHealth Board

An Executive Order was issued to create the “Wisconsin Relay of Electronic Data (WIRED) for Health Board”. The WIRED for Health Board will develop a plan for a statewide health information exchange by June 2010 to identify, secure, fund, and provide for the technical infrastructure.

The Board will consist of 15 members representing both public and private stakeholders including a commercial payer, a patient or consumer organization, hospitals, physicians, the business community, pharmacies, laboratories, higher education, quality/health organizations, public health, Medicaid, and the State Chief Information Officers.

The Executive Order provides for legislative action to establish a permanent public private entity to implement the strategic and operational plans for statewide health information exchange when the Legislature reconvenes in 2010.

Milwaukee’s regional exchange has demonstrated how vital information can be provided during public health emergencies. Since the onset of H1N1, Milwaukee’s regional exchange has provided immediate data on the number of flu related emergency room visits grouped by hospital and by age group. This has meant that data on the spread of the virus in Milwaukee was done in real time.

Wisconsin is set to receive $9.44 million under a cooperative agreement in Recovery Act funds to support efforts to create a state exchange. The Recovery Act will also provide an additional $34 billion in incentives for hospitals and doctors to begin using electronic records.