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State CIOs Wearing Numerous Healthcare IT Hats, Report Finds

June 12, 2013
by Gabriel Perna
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Like their brethren in the private sector, state CIOs are taking on numerous roles according to a report from the National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) and the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS).

The two non-profit industry associations polled representatives from 26 states and territories and found that state level CIOs are taking on numerous healthcare related projects including state level health information exchanges (HIE), state health insurance marketplaces, identity management, data governance, and Medicaid Management Information Systems.

“State CIOs are wearing many hats when it comes to state health IT projects,” Doug Robinson, NASCIO executive director, said in a statement. “The focus remains to find ways to collaborate and coordinate IT initiatives from a global or enterprise view.”

In the area of state level HIEs, 72 percent of those surveyed said they have a significant role in their development. They are working with intrastate collaborative efforts as well as state-to-state initiatives. Most states use a state-designated health information exchange entity, and 69 percent said they were in production currently. They mentioned new stakeholders include: havioral health, post-acute services, consumer groups, public health, patient advocacy groups, payers, banks, and financial institutions.

For the health insurance exchanges, state CIOs are overwhelmed with how much infrastructure has still yet to be completed. Ninety-four percent of those surveyed said less than 50 percent of the needed IT components are in place.

In addition, 72 percent of respondents said their states will implement a new Medicaid eligibility system and 78 percent said they are finishing Medicaid management information system modernization.

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