News & Views

From the President & CEO...
Health information exchange takes a front seat

Chris Queram,
President and CEO

The issue of health information technology and exchange has taken on new prominence in the state of Wisconsin. The federal government has designated approximately $9.44 million in Recovery Act funds to support efforts to create a state exchange and additional monies are pegged for provider incentive payments for the use of electronic records. Wisconsin is now on a fast track to take advantage of these opportunities.

As a newly appointed member of the Wisconsin Relay of Electronic Data (WIRED) for Health Board, I have been given the privilege to contribute to a process designed to develop both a strategic and an operational plan for how health information technology and exchange will be accomplished in Wisconsin. The Board was created as the first phase of the State-Level Health Information Exchange (SLHIE) planning and design project which is supported by Recovery Act funds.

In addition, recent health information technology and exchange developments at the federal level have placed an emphasis on WCHQ’s ability to assume a key role in discussions in this critical area.

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HIPAA revisited

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As we move into a new age of health information technology, HIPAA regulations strive to keep pace. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act signed into law last year included the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act which expands the privacy and security provisions under HIPAA. To ensure WCHQ meets the spirit and level of the new regulations, we commissioned a rigorous and in-depth audit of all of the privacy and security features of our information systems.

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WCHQ’s interactive Online Community launched

logoLooking for more ways to collaborate with fellow WCHQ members and strategic partners to share knowledge, expertise and like interests? How about easy access to the latest information, meeting materials and schedules regarding WCHQ workgroups and committees? Good news – the WCHQ Online Community has been launched and stands ready to meet these needs and many more!

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WCHQ to publicly report Society of Thoracic Surgeons data

cmslogoIn what we anticipate will be the first of numerous initiatives to publicly report specialty care information, WCHQ has struck a data sharing license agreement on behalf of its members with the Society of Thoracic Surgeons (STS). The agreement will allow for the development of reports based on data elements already submitted by WCHQ participating member organizations through the STS national database registry for those organizations and surgeons providing written consent.

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