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.


Raymond Boyle said...

I was wondering if this will now move Vermont to the top of the ranks for HIT, perhaps after MN, MA, and IN. Come to think of it, is any agency keeping tabs on HIT activity at the state level?

Written by Micky Tripathi said...

I would add New York to the list of leading states. I think it will certainly be a huge leap forward for VT. They've got all the ingredients: leadership, public-private collaboration, relatively self-contained jurisdictional and market boundaries, manageable size, statewide goals for improving the quality and efficiency of care, and now, adequate resources to deploy IT to achieve those goals. It wouldn't surprise me to see Vermont make the most dramatic improvements in the measures that count most: better, more affordable, health care.

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