The National Governors Association Center for Best Practices (NGA Center) announced that subcontracts have been offered to Kentucky and 33 other states and territories by RTI International to participate in an effort to address privacy issues associated with the proposed creation of a National Health Information Network on May 23. The NGA Center is a partner with RTI International on the overall project that examines business policies and state laws related to the privacy and security of health information.
These states and territories will form the Health Information Security and Privacy Collaboration (HISPC), a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ strategy, the aim of which is to allow electronic health records to be shared among health care professionals nationwide.
“The current fragmented health care system is broken and unsustainable and governors recognize that health information technology offers the promise for improving the system,” said NGA Chairman Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee. “The eventual use of health information technology will go a long way in making the system more efficient and effective for all.”
States receiving HISPC awards are: Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, Wyoming and Puerto Rico. Awards for the 34 subcontracts range from $250,000 to $350,000 and will require each state to bring together a broad range of stakeholders from their respective regions to develop consensus-based solutions to the barriers to health information exchange.
“The information learned from the state-led projects will be critical to developing an interoperable national health information network,” said NGA Center Chair and Association Vice Chair Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano. “A nationwide network will allow consumers to make informed choices by providing them secure access to their health care information.”
RTI International will ask the participants to complete an assessment of privacy and security policies, regulations and business practices that may affect their ability to connect to the national health information network by fall 2006. In March 2007, representatives from each region will discuss implementation plans that allow electronic sharing of health information across states and territories.
NGA, founded in 1908, is the instrument through which the nation’s governors collectively influence the development and implementation of national policy and apply creative leadership to state issues. Its members are the governors of the 50 states, three territories and two commonwealths. The NGA Center for Best Practices helps governors and their policy advisors develop and implement innovative solutions to governance and policy challenges facing their states. The Center provides tailored technical assistance, tracks and evaluates state innovations and best practices and helps governors and their staff develop cutting-edge solutions to stay ahead of problems. For more information, please visit www.nga.org.