Sunday, May 16, 2010

Wisconsin Governor Signs Bill

Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle recently signed electronic medical record legislation. Assembly Bill 779, the “WIRED for Health Act” will strengthen the ability of Wisconsin healthcare providers to securely share electronic patient data in order to avoid duplicative tests, improve health outcomes, and decrease costs.

Funding from ARRA will be used to plan and develop the infrastructure for exchanging electronic medical records, as well as incentive payments for healthcare providers to start using electronic medical records.

The State of Wisconsin is receiving $9.4 million for the planning and development of a statewide network. The legislation signed by the Governor paves the way for hospitals to receive between $500 million to $800 million in incentive payments to help them establish and use electronic medical record systems. The “WIRED for Health Act” creates a framework for a state-level, private-public structure to govern and coordinate the implementation of the statewide network.

The Governor said that the exchange will help support the creation of new high-tech jobs in the state. As he explained, Wisconsin is home to some of the top medical record technology companies in the country, from Epic Systems to GE Healthcare to Marshfield Clinic. These companies provide software to hospitals and clinics across the nation.