Statement from Lt. Governor Anthony G. Brown on Federal Recovery Funds for Health IT
ANNAPOLIS, Md. (March 15, 2010) – Lt. Governor Anthony G. Brown released the following statement today applauding President Brack Obama, members of the Maryland Congressional Delegation, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for awarding Maryland $9.3 million to build upon existing work to create a health information exchange:
“I applaud President Obama and the members of Team Maryland for ensuring that Maryland received Federal funding to expand its health information exchange and improve the quality of care for all Marylanders. Because of their leadership, our doctors and hospitals will be able to provide our patients with the highest quality of care they demand.
“Patients and doctors need better access to information technology and a more robust platform to share important information. Late last year, I had the opportunity to meet with doctors, providers, nurses and health professionals at a number of hospitals, clinics and private practices across the state and I learned a great deal about the benefits of a strong health IT system. This Federal support will go a long way to build on the successful programs many hospitals and practices have already implemented and will, in the long run, save patients, insurers and taxpayers money.
“Governor O’Malley and I are committed to improving the quality of care and lowering costs for all Marylanders. Greater utilization of electronic health records will help us reach both of those goals and will bring our health system into the 21st Century.”
The Maryland Health Care Commission will receive $9,313,924 to help facilitate health information exchange and advance health information technology. The funds, allocated through the American Recovery and Reinvest Act, are part of the HHS $2 billion effort to achieve widespread meaningful use of health IT and provide use of an electronic health record by every citizen by 2014.
“These funds will accelerate Maryland's innovative health IT partnership between government and healthcare providers and allow them to get health information into the hands of clinicians when and where they need it,” said Secretary John M. Colmers of the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.
This award comes after more than three years of planning by providers, payers, consumers, and other stakeholders from across the state. A non-profit organization, Chesapeake Regional Information System for our Patients (CRISP), was selected to develop the state’s health information exchange and was awarded $10 million from the State’s unique hospital all-payer rate setting system as initial funding for the project.
“Private and secure health information exchange will assure that providers and patients have the information they need to make the best health care choices. Used together with electronic health records, the exchange will help improve treatment, prevent errors, and reduce health care costs.” said Rex Cowdry, M.D., Executive Director of the Maryland Health Care Commission.
Lt. Governor Brown leads the O’Malley-Brown administration efforts on health care and is currently championing two pieces of legislation – the Maryland False Health Claims Act of 2010 and the Patient Centered Medical Home bill – before the Maryland General Assembly that will lower costs, improve the quality of care and protect taxpayers from Medicaid fraud.