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Colorado to Invest $64 Million in Health IT

Published: August 09, 2019

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Colorado will put $64 million in federal funding towards developing crucial health IT initiatives.

Colorado is set to receive $64 million in federal funds to invest in health IT infrastructure and to implement the state’s Health IT Roadmap, Governor Jared Polis announced recently. According to Polis, this investment is designed to improve the state’s health-data governance and IT infrastructure. The state will prioritize several initiatives which are laid out in the roadmap, a 111-page document based off of input from more than 1,000 urban and rural stakeholders.

Originally published in 2017, the state’s Health IT Roadmap includes 16 initiatives designed to improve the quality of health care for Coloradans. Key topics include:

  • Enhanced health data and portfolio management.
  • Improved virtual care.
  • Stronger health cybersecurity practices.
  • Implementing unique provider and patient database markers.

The money will come from a federal funding match recently approved by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The funding match, authorized for Fiscal Years 2019-2021, allocates $9 of federal funds for every $1 the state contributes.

Polis explained that this investment is designed to improve the health of patients and families by enabling health care providers to have timely access to health information about their patients, reducing the number of medical errors and unnecessary tests and procedures. The governor also emphasized that the roadmap initiatives are part of an effort to reduce health care costs for Colorado citizens. 

“We are laser focused on lowering the cost of health care for Colorado families. Technology in health care is a big piece of lowering costs and this funding will go a long way toward implementing the Health IT Roadmap and streamlining the industry,” said Polis.

The project is being led by the state’s Office of eHealth Innovation, the agency responsible for the roadmap, with assistance from the Office of Information Technology, which will be responsible for managing the sensitive data involved in health care.

“In addition to reducing health care costs, access to accurate and timely health information can truly save lives. When individuals and families deal with emergency health needs the last thing they remember is the name of their primary care physician, allergies, or their medications. This funding ensures this information flows to the right individual at the right time,” said Carrie Paykoc, interim director of the Governor’s Office of eHealth Innovation.

Source: StateScoop