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  1. U.S States are taking strides to invest in Heath IT Development
  2. Florida offering personal health records for Medicaid clients
  3. The New York eHealth Collaborative recently received $35 million in state funding for improving  health care quality

Category: EHR Matters
Date: November 11, 2009
Views:3,811 views

Hello, I’m Lindsay Pine and this is EHR Matters for Wednesday November 11th. Some U.S. states are taking strides to invest in health IT development. The New York eHealth Collaborative, a public-private partnership focused on improving healthcare quality, safety and efficiency, recently received $35 million in state funding.

The newly appointed executive director, Mr. David L. Whitlinger, will use his history at Intel and his knowledge of electronic health records to help the organization build an efficient Health IT infrastructure in New York. The state’s health IT development will be funded by the $35 million grant from the State of New York through Phase 10 of the Healthcare Efficiency and Affordability Law for New Yorkers also known as HEAL 10.

Carol Raphael, New York eHealth Collaborative board chair said, the federal government was preparing to “invest heavily in state-based health information exchanges and adoption programs,” and that investments like the HEAL 10 grant will play a central role in facilitating improvements in the nation’s healthcare system.

In other news, the state of Florida is also investing in health IT, offering personal health records for Medicaid clients.

Florida Medicaid recipients can now be more connected to their personal health information. Florida is the first state to offer online health records for Medicaid clients. The program, called My Florida Health eBook and My Florida eBaby Book, offers secure online personal health records to its 2.6 million Medicaid clients.

Patients are able to log on using their Medicaid ID number and see detailed information about their medications, vaccinations, past illnesses and doctor visits.

The Web site also allows people to track their family medical history or chart their personal health information such as blood pressure, and is made possible through a partnership with three private companies: Availity, HealthTrio and Healthwise.

The leader of Florida’s Agency for Healthcare Administration, Holly Benson, says the online information should empower people by helping them better manage their own health. Ms. Benson says her agency has taken steps to make sure the sensitive information is safe online.

The private sector is also extending PHR opportunities to its workers… Dossia, whose consortium members include Wal-Mart and Intel, is making it easier for employees' dependents to sign up for electronic health records. Non-profit consortium Dossia was launched three years ago by several large employers, including Intel and Wal-Mart, in an effort to empower workers to take better control of their health and wellness by providing them e-personal health record tools to more readily access their health information via the web.

During open-enrollment season for employee health insurance plans, Dossia has added new functionality to workers’ electronic personal health records by offering employees' dependents --including spouses and children, their own personal health records.

However, Dossia faced many challenges in offering PHR opportunities for dependents. Complex legal, privacy and other issues that vary from state to state, as well as involve federal regulations, made it complicated to offer a solution for all users of personal e-health records.

"Employees have told us that they want their entire families connected to Dossia e-personal health records, so that it's easier to keep track of kids immunization records, chronic conditions and other issues that vary among family members,” said Evans.

In turn, Dossia has been spending "a huge amount of effort" working on legal issues while simplifying the enrollment and sign-on processes for using its personal health records, says Dossia CEO Colin Evans.

I’m Lindsay Pine and this has been EHR Matters-Thanks for watching.

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