MA

National Health IT Week kicks off with a strong focus on health IT adoption

Published: September 16, 2013

CONGRESSHHSHealth CareHealth IT

This week kicks off the eighth annual National Health IT Week, a collaborative forum for public and private health care constituents to discuss the value of health information technology (IT) in the U.S. health care system. Senate and Congress members are expected to highlight the value of health IT during the event’s press conference, which will take place September 18 at 1:30 p.m. In line with themes of health IT adoption, Deltek’s health care and social services team recently released a report analyzing statewide health information exchanges (HIEs). 
In 2010, the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) launched the State Health Information Exchange (HIE) Cooperative Agreement Program. Under the initiative, $548 million was allotted to states to assist in the modernization of how patient health data is stored and shared. The goal of the program was to develop and enhance HIE services across the U.S. and create a “coordinated system” for states to operate under a common set of principles.
Many states, with the exception of Nevada, have already procured their statewide HIE themselves or through a separate entity. Therefore, there are not many opportunities that exist for vendors to build out statewide HIE systems. Still, states are procuring for other HIE-related services and technologies, though they are more along the lines of helping hospitals and other health care providers get on board with health IT in general (e.g. EMRs/EHRs).
As mentioned, Nevada is one state that has recently released a solicitation for a statewide HIE. In 2012, the state underwent a health information technology assessment, in which it was found that about three-fourths of Nevada’s providers have or will have an EHR implemented by 2015.
Nevada’s goal was to provide HIE capability for all providers wherever needed in the state, including the facilitation of early connectivity through the use of DIRECT services. The state created an HIE board of directors to oversee the planning and procurement of the statewide HIE services, and an RFP was released on July 3, 2013. The resulting contract will be for about $2.3 million, with an initial term of three years. The state also has plans to request consultative/project management services relating to the statewide HIE, though the release date for that procurement is not available at this time.
As the delivery of health care continues to improve, there will be more focus on technologies that utilize data analytics and predictive software that enables more accurate assessment of the population. This will aid in disease surveillance and transparency to allow for better treatment and service delivery both domestically and internationally. Be sure to check out Deltek’s recently released report on HIEs. Not a Deltek subscriber? Click here to learn more about Deltek's GovWin IQ service and gain access to a free trial.