Sunday, July 25, 2010

Future Plans for Innovation

Maryland’s Governor Martin O’Malley convened a roundtable forum of industry leaders and experts, including medical system presidents, hospital CEOs, state officials, and other stakeholders to discuss healthcare reform, innovation in the state, health IT, and development of the HIE.

The Governor has set a goal for Maryland to become a national leader in health IT by 2012 by developing a safe and secure statewide HIE and by promoting the adoption of EHRs among providers. By 2010, the Administration aims to have universal compliance by all healthcare providers in the state. He is encouraging the adoption of EHRs, plus developing incentives for providers, engaging public schools, and working with the state’s business community to take advantage of health IT opportunities.

Lt. Governor Anthony Brown is actively working with the Chesapeake Regional Information System for our Patients (CRISP) on plans to develop the HIE. CRISP is a not-for-profit collaboration among Johns Hopkins Medicine, MedStar Health, the University of Maryland Medical Systems, and Erickson Retirement Communities. The Maryland government will work through CRISP to implement the exchange and use $10 million already allocated to continue to the work

Some of the O’Malley-Brown Administration plans are to:

• Revitalize the Task Force to study EHR
• Develop an electronic health records product portfolio to help physicians with purchasing decision information and information on vendors offering discounts
• Use the Medicare and Medicaid Services five year demonstration project. Maryland is one of only four states selected to participate in CMS five year demonstration project to encourage small to medium sized primary care physician practices to use EHRs
• Develop the Maryland Health Care Commission’s regulations that mirror the federal incentive program under Medicare and Medicaid for state regulated private payers.
• Encourage Maryland’s public schools to adopt EHRs.
• Engage minority and women-owned businesses to adopt EHRs. In June, the Lt. Governor, CRISP, and the Governor’s Office of Minority Affairs sponsored a forum to work with Maryland’s minority business enterprises on health IT efforts and future business opportunities

The specific HIE design characteristics are to:

• Use a hybrid approach to keep the data at its source facilities or with providers and use the HIE as the conduit for sharing
• Allow consumers to have access and control over their health information
• Let individuals have the freedom to participate or not to participate in the HIE
• Have standards consistent with emerging national technology standards
• Have the HIE build on individual use cases with individual HIE services that have demonstrated need and show clinical value to consumers and care providers
• Have the HIE focus on the medically underserved populations