State of Maryland Recognized as a Leader in Health IT Implementation
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. (July 13, 2011) – Today, Lt. Governor Anthony G. Brown delivered remarks at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Northeast-Mid Atlantic Regional Health Information Technology (HIT) Conference about the progress Maryland has made in implementing HIT and the challenges that remain. The conference, hosted by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, was attended by the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, Dr. Farzad Mostashari and over 250 experts and public officials working to implement HIT in their states.
Governor Martin O’Malley and Lt. Governor Brown have made leading the nation in the establishment of a comprehensive statewide, private-public, and secure health information exchange and widespread adoption of electronic health records (EHRs) by the end of 2012 one of their 15 Strategic Goals. Under the O’Malley-Brown Administration, Maryland has become a national leader in HIT and in his speech Lt. Governor Brown highlighted the State’s progress, such as establishing Maryland’s Health Information Exchange (HIE), creating a first-in-the-nation law requiring insurance companies to provide financial incentives to providers that implement EHRs, and surpassing the State’s goal of connecting an additional 1,000 primary care providers to EHRs via the federal regional extension center program.
“Governor O’Malley and I have focused on implementing health information technology in Maryland because we understand it will help reduce costs while improving quality and improving the coordination of care for all Marylanders,” said Lt. Governor Brown. “Through our innovative efforts and partnerships, Maryland has become one of the leading states in the use of health IT. Although challenges remain, if we use health IT to address the crushing burden of chronic disease, reduce preventable re-admissions and health disparities, improve quality, and reign in runaway costs, then we can build the health care system that our nation needs and deserves.”
During his remarks, the Lt. Governor also discussed the importance of addressing challenges in implementing HIT, including maintaining and expanding incentives for providers who adopt EHRs, ensuring interoperability across state exchanges, and ensuring consumer confidence through strong privacy and confidentiality policies.
Maryland continues to be a leader in developing policies that encourage EHR adoption and the private and secure exchange of electronic health information. All of Maryland’s 46 acute care hospitals have signed a letter of intent to participate in the HIE to exchange health information electronically, and 39 are already connected. Additionally, Maryland has received nearly $27 million in federal funds to assist in the expansion of HIT.
As Co-Chair of the Maryland Health Care Reform Coordinating Council and Maryland’s Health Quality and Cost Council, Lt. Governor Brown leads the O’Malley-Brown Administration’s health care portfolio. Under the leadership of Governor O’Malley and Lt. Governor Brown, Maryland has implemented reforms that have expanded health coverage to over 280,000 Marylanders and put the State in position to maximize the federal Affordable Care Act (ACA). Lt. Governor Brown has become a leading voice on health care reform implementation in the states, delivering keynote addresses earlier this year at AcademyHealth’s 11th Annual National Health Policy Conference in Washington, DC and the 2011 Society for Public Health Education (SOPHE) and National Association of Chronic Disease Directors (NACDD) Joint Academy and Midyear Scientific Meeting in Albuquerque, NM.