Sunday, June 20, 2010

Iowa Submits Plan

The Iowa e-Health Strategic and Operational Plan has been submitted to the HHS Office of the National Coordinator for HIT. The plan developed by the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) in conjunction with the e-Health Executive Committee and Advisory Council is a required component of the ONC State Health Information Exchange Cooperative Agreement program and plans to provide $8,375,000 to Iowa e-Health over the next four years to implement Iowa’s HIE.

According to the plan, starting in July 2010, the schedule is to review the planning and implementation efforts for the statewide HIE including Medicaid HIT activities. At that point, this plan will be submitted to the e-Health Executive Committee.

Plans for activities in the August 1, 2010 to October 31, 2010 time period are to:

• Find a vendor to work with Iowa e-Health to plan and facilitate focus groups
• Develop and maintain a web site to provide up-to-date information on ongoing activities
• Work with Iowa Medicaid and other entities to identify potential participants
• Establish partnerships with Iowa healthcare payers and payer associations and have them distribute Iowa e-Health information to their membership
• Engage labor unions and business associations to assist in the dissemination of information about Iowa ehealth
• Develop a communication and outreach plan
• Conduct strategy meetings with the Iowa Regional Extension Center and Iowa Medicaid to coordinate activities
• Coordinate activities with health IT workforce and educational workgroups to include meaningful use in training programs and health IT curriculum development
• Explore opportunities to align with existing standards and systems
• Identify funding resources to develop the workforce plan
• Explore options for loan and group purchasing programs to lower costs for health IT

In general, from September 2010 to November 13, 2010, the plan is to execute a contract between the state and the selected vendor to implement the proposed HIE solution. Specifically beginning in October, the goal is to work with the HIE vendor and the eHealth executive committee to select pilot organizations.

The timeframe for developing the Iowa Medicaid health IT plan is to start in September when a contract between the state and vendor will be executed and then the Medicaid health IT plan will be submitted to CMS. Starting in October, the vendor is to select pilot organizations, develop an evaluation plan, and facilitate focus groups.

The Strategic and Operational plan is available at For more information, contact Polly Carver-Kimm at (515) 281-6693.