The ARRA HITECH Act was passed in 2009 to set forth the plan for advancing the appropriate use of Health Information Technology (HIT) to implement a nationwide infrastructure that allows for the electronic use and exchange of health information to improve quality, efficiency and safety of health care, and establish the foundation for health care reform. A series of priority grant programs were created to provide states with loans, grants, technical assistance, IT related workforce training programs, and research and development projects that advance the use of health information technology and exchange on a state and regional basis.
CORHIO and the Governor’s Office worked closely to develop a statewide plan that met federal application requirements for funds to enable the state’s health IT efforts, a process that involved many stakeholders across Colorado and resulted in the creation of the consensus-based State HIE Strategic Plan. Coordinated efforts between the Governor’s Office, CORHIO and other organizational partners resulted in Colorado receiving funding for five ARRA HITECH Act grant programs: a BEACON Community award to Rocky Mountain Health Plans and an association of Mesa County health care organizations; a Community College Consortium award to a partnership of community colleges including Pueblo Community College; a University-based Training award to the University of Colorado Denver School of Nursing; and the Regional Extension Center (CO-REC) and State HIE Cooperative Agreement grant awards to CORHIO. All five programs are underway and being coordinated by CORHIO, the State HIT Coordinator in the Governor’s Office of Information Technology, Pueblo Community College, The University of Colorado Denver School of Nursing, and the Quality Health Network (QHN) in Grand Junction, Colorado.
The chart below shows the ARRA HITECH grant awards in Colorado.
The ARRA HITECH Act also created new responsibilities and resources for state Medicaid agencies to advance the adoption and meaningful use of HIT and electronic health records (EHRs) to significantly improve the quality and cost-effectiveness of health care services and systems. This is called the State Medicaid EHR Incentive Program. The Department of Health Care Policy and Financing (HCPF) has contracted with CORHIO to assist in developing the State Medicaid HIT Plan (SMHP) and Implementation Advanced Planning Document (I-APD) for submission to Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Development of the SMHP is an iterative process. HCPF submitted the initial SMHP and I-APD to CMS for approval in March of 2011. The initial submission allowed the department to contract to begin implementation of the Meaningful Use registration and attestation solution.
Registration for the CMS EHR Incentive Program started on January 3rd and Medicare Attestation began on April 18, 2011. Find out more now at the CMS official EHR Incentive Program website!
An updated SMHP that will more clearly develop the "To Be" HIT landscape and implementation roadmap is planned for submission to CMS in late Summer 2011.
The federal Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Office of the National Coordinator (ONC), has also developed several resources for ARRA HITECH that can be found below.