The National Association of State Chief Information Officers has published a report giving guidance to CIOs as their states implement health information technology provisions of the HITECH Act within American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The act requires state leadership in two primary areas: oversight for the planning and deployment of health information exchanges and management of the Medicaid incentive payments for meaningful use of electronic health records, the report notes. "The passage of the HITECH Act essentially merged health policy with technology policy across state government and state CIOs must play a key role in HIE development and implementation," according to the report. The report includes a list of upcoming deadlines for specific federal regulatory actions, including those most affecting states and their CIOs. The report also details four broad areas where CIOs can have a major impact on HIE initiatives: planning, governance, financing/sustainability and policy. "The HITECH Act placed a significant amount of new responsibilities on states in regards to state oversight for HIE and the planning and implementation grants for preparing for HIE," the report states. "During this initial planning period, state CIOs must secure a seat at the table to establish themselves as key stakeholders and also to recognize strengths and identify weaker points that require resolution within their own offices relating to statewide HIT/HIE planning. They must ask themselves what they, with their unique enterprise view, can do to support and contribute to each of these areas." The report from the Lexington, Ky.-based association, "HITECH in the States: Action List for CIOs," is available at no charge at nascio.org/publications.
This article can also be found at HealthDataManagement.com.
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