HIMSS Public Policy Forum Quick Hits

Posted on April 5, 2010 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

Yes, I still have quite a bit of HIMSS content that I haven’t had a chance to post. Luckily most of the information is really timeless and so it doesn’t matter when it’s posted. One of those was some of the information I got at the public policy forum at HIMSS. Here’s some quick hits from it:

Dr. Rhonda Medows from Georgia said, “Could extend benefits to Long Term care based on capital improvement benefits.” I wonder if she’ll still do this if it’s true that there will be some money for long term care in the current healthcare reform. At least Georgia was looking at some creative ways to get some money for healthcare IT in under served areas.

State representative Rosenthall from NH-Representative said that 40-50 percent of doctors in NH have some access to EMR. She also said that 900 out of 4500 have ePrescribing (20 percent).

Probably the most interesting thing Representative Rosenthall said was in response to my question about how NH (a small state) would fund a state HIE. She quickly and frankly responded that their state must do a private partnership since the state won’t have the money in their small tax base to be able to fund the HIE. I’m guessing that many states will be in this same position.

Finally, I think it was one of the HIMSS public policy people (sorry I don’t remember which one) made an interesting comment about the government’s approach to funding the state HIE efforts. They described that the “seed funding” for HIE that’s been given to states is almost like a hope that they’ll figure out some sustainable creative revenue model and not just disappear the way RHIO have.

I remember the hype that surrounded even the term RHIO about 4 years ago and no one speaks of them anymore. It’s a really serious question to ask if HIE’s are going to find that “creative revenue model” that has alluded health information exchange in the past. I’d love to hear from people about what the most promising HIE revenue models are right now.