Monday, September 21, 2009

Nat'l Health IT Week from DC

I'm here at the National Health IT Collaborative for the Underserved in Washington today. The meetings are lasting all day, and I am a member of the Policy workgroup. Members of the workgroup come from a variety of places; provider networks in Californiaand Michigan, Morehouse, The Office of Minority Health and Capitol Hill. Much of this morning's discussion was about ARRA funds and how the remote, rural and underserved community providers would access those funds.

Those at the table from the Hill were pretty energetic about the ARRA funding allocations to regional health networks. They feel that the RFPs have been written to such a tight profile as to be "self selecting." It is already known which big players in health management will qualify. There are now discussions in California to enable access to these funds through "subcontracting" to local networks. There is a requirement that for a Regional network to qualify, it must have a minimum of 100,000 people. By aggregating these "local"'s numbers, the big players can then have the qualifying numbers, and the local clinics can access funding.

There was also a strong sentiment about bringing the smaller, rural/remote providers together to examine their HIT wants and needs. By documenting this aggregate market, vendors can be educated to develop and deliver more integrated and interoperable technologies---This is very reminiscent of last week's article on the Canadian market. MORE ON THAT LATER.....

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