Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Electronic med records effort wins stimulus cash - Business First of Columbus:

Electronic med records effort wins stimulus cash - Business First of Columbus:

A state partnership marshaling a transition to electronic medical records has cleared a key hurdle in its development after winning more than $40 million from the federal economic stimulus effort.

The government will send two awards totaling $43 million to the Ohio Health Information Partnership, a subsidiary of the Columbus group BioOhio. The group is working with the Ohio Department of Insurance on a new initiative to help the health-care industry make the transition to electronic medical records and create a secure statewide network for accessing patient information.

The first $28.5 million award is tied to plans for an extension center that will help health-care providers looking to switch to electronic medical records. The state legislature set aside $8 million in Ohio’s two-year budget as matching funds for the stimulus grant. A second $14.9 million award is designed to spur the creation of a statewide information-sharing network for health-care providers.

Gov. Ted Strickland in September designated the partnership to work with the state on the records transition, which officials think will lead to cost cuts and improved care. Its board includes representation from BioOhio, the Ohio State Medical Association, Ohio Hospital Association, Ohio Osteopathic Association and state government. The partnership is expanding its board to include representation from health-care payers, the business community, behavioral health providers, community health centers and consumers.

The Insurance Department told Columbus Business First in the fall that the state would begin seeking technology vendors after receiving stimulus funding for the project.


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