Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Vermont Flying Under the Radar
I don't know why this hasn't gotten much press in the health IT press, but on May 12 the Vermont Legislature approved a program to create a health IT fund that would pay for EHRs and health information exchange across the state. The program will be implemented by Vermont Information Technology Leaders (VITL), the statewide "RHIO". (The press release is here, and the actual legislation is here). The program will be financed by a claims assessment on health insurers (and self-insured employers), who will pay a quarterly fee of 0.199% claims paid (or 19.9 basis points or one-fifth of a penny per claim dollar). The assessment is expected to raise about $32M over the next seven years. The funds will be used to subsidize EHRs for primary care physicians, who will receive a 75% subsidy on an EHR purchase (up to $45K). Physicians will have to pony up the remaining 25% themselves. The fund will also pay for connecting these physicians on a statewide health information exchange.