Even if the nonprofit that manages Vermont's HIE retires in 2015 when its state funding sunsets, the investment will have provided a fairly successful return in bringing the state's delivery system into the digital age.
Frequently, healthcare entities focus on how the EHR will work, rather than what frontline clinicians will do with it, which creates growing user frustration, extended adoption times and increased costs. But with proper planning, an effective paper to pixel transition is possible.
This week in Government Health IT: Reports expose state and local governments as ill-prepared, whether that be for Big Data or cyber-attacks. Also, think tanks talk patient-centered care for cost-savings.
While the design of the state's single payer plan may not be unveiled by the Governor for a few years, Vermont Health Connect officials see the exchange's IT and consumer assistance program as "a road, not a detour," to single payer and universal coverage.
Vermont's HIE, managed by the nonprofit Vermont Information Technology Leaders, is seen as an enabler for the coordination and quality assurance the state will require of providers, as it moves to a largely single payer system in 2017.
As news of backlogs in veterans benefits continues to make headlines, lawmakers are pushing for answers on digital information exchange from Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel -- who frankly described problems in the plans and cancelled an RFP, saying he'd have clarification plans soon.
In a letter to CMS, the National Association of Medicaid Directors is asking for additional time to digest and comment on proposed rules for state management of Medicaid, CHIP and health insurance exchanges.