Earlier this month Missouri passed two critical milestones in its efforts to promote electronic health information exchange among healthcare professionals. Missouri has completed its strategic and operational plans for statewide health information exchange, for which it is receiving federal funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC). Missouri has access to about $13.8 million in federal recovery funds to underwrite the planning and implementation process. These funds are in addition to incentives available to providers who adopt and meaningfully use electronic health records.
Those plans were developed over the past nine months through a highly collaborative series of meetings of more than 200 stakeholders from across the state including health care providers, privacy experts, insurers, employers, state legislators, and consumer advocates. The process was led by a public-private advisory board appointed by Governor Jay Nixon in the fall of 2009 and led by Department of Social Services Director Ron Levy and Co-Chair Barrett Toan.
Included in the plans is the recommendation that statewide health information exchange be governed by a new, public-private not-for-profit organization, called the Missouri Statewide Health Information Organization (HIO).