On Thursday, December 17th, Governor Polis announced the reappointments of current eHealth Commissioners Dr. Arthur Davidson and Wes Williams to their second terms on the eHealth Commission, and the four new appointments of Kaakpema Yelpaala, Mona Baset, Annie Harrington, and Jason McRoy. More information in the Governor's press release found here.
On November 30th the National Governors Association (NGA) published a paper on the future of state telehealth policy. The paper summarizes the types of telehealth policy flexibilities provided by states and the federal government during the COVID-19 pandemic and longer-term considerations for Governors regarding the impact of such policies on care delivery and payment with the goal of helping policymakers assess the appropriateness of policy permanence beyond the pandemic. Refer to page 17 in the document to read about Colorado's COVID-19 emergency funding from CMS and how it was used to support EMS connections and connect Medicaid providers through a telehealth platform.
Now more than ever we’re seeing that access to high-speed, quality broadband is essential to going about our daily lives during a global pandemic. This week Colorado received a $6 million USDA grant that will expand northwestern Colorado's rural broadband access allowing for more folks in rural communities to telecommute and access telemedicine. Read the entire press release here.
The Office of eHealth Innovation (OeHI) continues to support and advance the Governor’s pandemic response and call to action to improve behavioral health for Coloradans through telemedicine and health information technology. Read the full press release from the Governor's office here.
Senate Bill 20-212 specifies allowable reimbursement for telehealth services, prohibits insurance carriers from imposing specific requirements or limitations on technology or communication used in telehealth, and defines the types of services included in health care and mental health care services approved for telehealth. This bill was proposed and passed rapidly, illustrating widespread enthusiasm for telehealth both from Coloradans and from our legislature. Read more about the SB20-212 here.
On August 3, 2020, President Trump signed an executive order aimed at supporting rural healthcare. Read more on the executive orders below:
The Office of eHealth Innovation (OeHI) and eHealth Commission have reviewed Colorado Health Care Policy and Finance's proposed quality measures for the Hospital Transformation Program and provided recommendations as part of Colorado's Health IT Roadmap- Ease Quality Reporting Burden Initiative. Click here to view submitted comments.
The Federal Communications Commission proposed $100 million in federal funds to be released to offset broadband and equipment for telehealth and telemedicine for providers and individuals in rural communities with lower income, veterans, and tribal communities. Read the comments here.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) approved up to $64 million in federal funds to advance the state's health IT infrastructure and tools. Read the press release here.
Read the Governor's announcement right here.
On June 3, 2019, OeHI, with substantial input from the eHealth Commission, submitted comments to ONC and CMS proposed rules. The ONC proposed rule aims to support seamless and secure access, exchange, and use of electronic health information (EHI) designed to increase innovation and competition by giving patients and their healthcare providers secure access to health information and new tools, allowing for more choice in care and treatment. The twin CMS rule on interoperability is designed to help improve the quality of and access to personal health information, specifically claims data, as well as access to transparent cost and quality information. See OeHI's comments here.
Congratulations and many thanks to the Commissioners listed below. Your leadership and support is much appreciated in supporting health reform through leveraging and aligning health information technology, health information exchange, and data sharing.
- Michele Lueck of Englewood, Colorado, to serve as a representative of expertise in healthcare policy, reappointed;
- Jason Greer of Boulder, Colorado, to serve as a member with expertise health care quality measures, reappointed;
- Tania E. Zeigler of Denver, Colorado, to serve as a representative of expertise in digital health, reappointed;
- Michelle Mills of Parker, Colorado, to serve as a representative of primary healthcare providers, reappointed;
- Chris Underwood of Evergreen, Colorado, to serve as a representative from HCPF, reappointed.
Colorado was recently awarded Track 2 of the National Governor's Association Technical Assistance Program: Harnessing the Power of Data to Achieve State Policy Goals. This initiative will highlight data best practices in policy making, addressing data governance, cross-sector data sharing, and system capabilities to enhance data informed policy and capacity building across state agencies.
On February 20, OeHI, with substantial input from the eHealth Commission, submitted comments to ONC on the proposed rule. See the comments here.
OeHI, in partnership with the Colorado Health Information and Management Systems Society (CHIMSS) and the Colorado Health Information Management Association (CHIMA) hosted a Colorado Health IT Roadmap Launch Party with over 150 health IT fanatics in attendance, including Mr. Hal Wolf, national president of HIMSS.
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