New York launches health information technology initiative
New York has initiated a comprehensive health information technology initiative, according to an announcement by Health Commissioner Dr. Richard Daines. An initial $106 million will be invested in the healthcare community during 2007-2008 to support the implementation of health IT tools to allow portability of patients' medical records and new tools to assess and target improvements in healthcare quality.

The commissioner said he has charged his new Office of Health Information Technology Transformation with coordinating health IT programs and policies across the public and private healthcare sectors. These programs and policies will establish the health IT infrastructure and capacity to support clinicians in quality-based reimbursement programs and new models of care delivery.

Daines is seeking to have a strategic health IT plan for New York crafted within the next 90 days; convene a health IT coordinating council to align strategies, avoid duplication and streamline programs; and create a health IT public-private partnership.

Because of this new health IT program, Commissioner Daines said the Department of Health will re-bid the proposals sought in 2006 to grant $53 million through the third phase of the Health Care Efficiency and Affordability Law for New Yorkers (HEAL NY) for health IT projects.

A new request for proposal (RFP) will be issued later this summer for $106 million to advance the technology required to achieve an interoperable health information exchange and a quality measurement and reporting capability, he said.