Friday, August 10, 2007

Commissioner Daines Announces Statewide Plan to Enable Improvements in Health Care Quality, Affordability and Outcomes Through Health Information Technology

This represents an excellent opportunity to bring EHRs and HIT Collaboratives to small and medium sized practices. SV

ALBANY, N.Y., August 8, 2007 – Health Commissioner Richard F. Daines, M.D., today announced the launch of a comprehensive health information technology program, part of Governor Eliot Spitzer's agenda to advance patient-centered care and enable improvements in health care quality, affordability and outcomes for each person, family and business in New York.

An initial $106 million will be invested in the health care community during 2007-2008 to support the implementation of health IT tools to allow portability of patients' medical records and new tools to assess and target improvements in health care quality.

The Commissioner has charged his new Office of Health Information Technology Transformation with coordinating health IT programs and policies across the public and private health care sectors. These programs and policies will establish the health IT infrastructure and capacity to support clinicians in quality-based reimbursement programs and new models of care delivery.

DOH's effort is part of Governor Spitzer's 'Patients First' health care agenda to improve the quality of health care as it shifts from institution-based care to community care. The following key objectives will drive DOH's investment in a community-based health information infrastructure, including:

* Ensuring the privacy and security of patients' individually identified health information, and supporting the right of New Yorkers to have greater control over and secure access to their personal health information.
* Providing public information about the quality and cost of care by payers and providers so consumers can compare costs and value.
* Using health IT as a tool to support better management of chronic disease, community-based long-term care, improved public health surveillance and reporting, and a modified certificate-of-need process to advance health care reform.
* Providing health IT tools required for validated quality measurement and reporting to support reimbursement reform, which is under way in the Medicaid program – the largest health care insurance payer in the state.
* Helping prepare New Yorkers for health care emergencies by developing the capacity to receive and exchange health care information, such as medications and lab test results.
* Helping clinicians and providers in small practices, community health centers and rural and under-served areas close the health IT gap between them and larger or urban institutions. This requires development of a sustainable financing plan, which includes public- and private-sector investment in health IT.
* Increasing the use of telemedicine, remote monitoring devices and other medical device applications to exchange information regardless of the venue where the patient receives services.


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