HHS forms e-health state alliance

The Health and Human Services Department awarded a $2 million, one-year contract to the National Governors Association to establish the State Alliance for e-Health to share lessons learned among states who are implementing health IT.

The contract is one of many efforts of HHS' Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT to spur adoption of electronic health records and other health IT. The state alliance aims to remove barriers to health information exchange to improve the quality of health care.

States are participants in health information exchange efforts and integral to the adoption effort because they regulate health care within their borders. States need to work together to agree on laws, policies and practices that govern potential approaches to interoperable health data exchange, said Robert Kolodner, interim national coordinator for health IT.

'It is essential that the states and the federal government work in parallel to make interoperable health information exchange a reality so that patients receive high-quality health care,' he said.

The state alliance will consider:

  • State-level privacy and security issues.
  • State-law medical practice barriers.
  • And state-level health information organization issues in governance, sustainable financial models and the role of health care payers and integration of public health and benefit programs.

About the Author

Mary Mosquera is a reporter for Federal Computer Week.

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