Press Release: Office of eHealth Innovation Seeking Input from Coloradans, August 2021
OeHI is seeking stakeholder input as it updates the Health Information Technology (IT) Roadmap. The eHealth Commission and OeHI are refreshing the 2021 Health IT Roadmap in partnership with the Colorado Health Institute. More information regarding the various opportunities to engage in the full press release here.
HB21-1289 Funding for Broadband Deployment Signed into Law
HB21-1289, sponsored by Rep. Chris Kennedy, Rep. Mark Baisley, Sen. Jeff Bridges, and Sen. Kevin Priola, was signed into law on June 29, 2021. This legislation will provide $10 million in grant funding to telehealth providers. OeHI will be working with the Colorado Broadband Office to design the program to distribute and implement these devices. Stay tuned for more information about those grant opportunities!
SB21-60 Expand Broadband Service Signed into Law
SB21-60, sponsored by Sen. Kerry Donovan (D-SD5) and Rep. Dylan Roberts (D-HD26), was signed into law by the Governor on June 27, 2021. This bill will increase broadband access to low income communities and households by creating a $600 low-income broadband reimbursement program.
Press Release: Gov. Polis’s Broadband Advisory Board Releases Inaugural Annual Report
The Broadband Advisory Board released their first annual report on Monday, July 19, 2021. The report highlights the various priorities of the Board, such as digital inclusion and literacy, broadband legislation, and setting the stage for future discussions on these important issues. OeHI's State Health IT Coordinator, Stephanie Bennett, sits on the board and helps guide its priorities to further connect Colorado. The full press release from the Governor’s office can be found here.
Press Release: Gov. Polis Announces Boards and Commissions Appointments
On Wednesday, June 2nd, 2021, Governor Polis announced the appointments of three new eHealth Commissioners: Kevin Stansbury of Hugo, Colorado, Michael Archuleta of Trinidad, Colorado, and Anthony Sean Martinez of Aurora, Colorado. Read the full press release here.
Press Release on the CO Vaccine Survey
On April 27, a statewide survey funded by COVIDCheck Colorado released insights on the top COVID-19 vaccine concerns and barriers. The survey found that the most cited barrier to getting vaccinated for participants was not knowing how to get an appointment or where to get a vaccine. Read the full press release here.
Lt. Governor gives remarks to JBC on OeHI's role in Colorado's COVID-19 Response
In January, Lt. Governor Dianne Primavera presented to the Colorado Joint Budget Committee (JBC) regarding the Office of the Lt. Governor's budget, during which she reviewed the Office of eHealth Innovation's role in the State's COVID-19 response. To hear more from our Lt. Governor on how OeHI rapidly expanded access to telemedicine and telehealth during the pandemic, listen to the full hearing here.
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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