HIMSS 2010: The Transformative Role of Health IT in the States

So I missed the keynote due to a conference call that was not to be missed.  I also realized that coffee is going to be a battle in lines.  Luckily I had heard those rumors and planned ahead and brought chocolate covered espresso beans.

To kick things off, I’m going to listen to the Governor of Vermont, Jim Douglas.  He is going to be talking about how HIE (Health Information Exchange) is important for the States in their interactions with the Federal Government.  Let’s see what I can learn.

  • (This is a little more like a speech, with a healthy political bent, than I would have liked. Will likely lead to less notes.)
  • Wants to turn patients into consumers of their own health information.
  • Vermont uses health teams centered around the Primary Care Physician (PCP) to break down silos of information at different locations.
  • (A lot of examples of WHY to go electronic and have interoperable information.  Vermont seems to be making some solid strides in that direction, but I suspect that many here already are sold.)
  • Federal and State officials, providers, insurers, vendors, and patients need to all work together to make HIE work.
  • What will work in one state may not work everywhere.  Same applies to physicians.  Need to maintain flexibility on the details.
  • Long-term funding for information exchanges is important after the recovery money runs out.
  • Health IT is not the end, but the means to the end. (Obvious, but important to reinforce)
  • Vermont has a 0.2% assessment on insurance claims to assist with sustainable funding for HIE.
  • State lines cannot demarcate HIE as hospital systems and patients don’t stay in one state. (Where I live in DC metro, we have Virginia, Maryland, and DC, so this is an important point.)

Enough of the Q&A as I need sustenance.  Heading to a pair of Federal Health Community Synergy Sessions next.


All information in this post was gathered from the presenters and presentation. It does not reflect my opinion unless clearly indicated (Italics in parenthesis). Any errors are most likely from my misunderstanding a statement or imperfectly recording the information. Updates to correct information are reflected in red, but will not be otherwise indicated.