According to a Stateline report today, less than half of U.S. doctors (48.1 percent) have made the switch to electronic records. Nine states were significantly above the national average – except for Massachusetts, these states were clustered in the upper Midwest and the West. The seven states, and the District of...

Data is the “oxygen for our program” said a Super-Utilizer Summit leader in the October report Super-Utilizer Summit: Common Themes from Innovative Complex Care Management Programs. Data can help policy makers identify and target super-utilizers. However, the correct type of data is important to accurately measure and target patient populations.

Claims data is one source to paint a broad picture of patient populations...

Story appears in the 2013 July/August issue of Capitol Ideas.

By Indiana Rep. Ed Clere, House Public Health Committee Chair

As consumers, we have become accustomed to having easy access to information and reviews about the things we buy and the places we visit. Whether we’re shopping for an appliance or a car or looking for a restaurant or a hotel room, we learn from and make purchasing decisions based on the experiences of others. Imagine if we were able to do the same with health care.

Policymakers in the states and territories (“the states”) are facing two major health care dilemmas in 2012—Medicaid spending and implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Medicaid  enrollment continues to grow, federal stimulus funds have disappeared and in many states providers are pressing for increased reimbursement. States also must grapple with complying with mandates in the federal health care reform law. The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to rule on the constitutionality of the law sometime in 2012. In the meantime, states must decide how far to go in their own implementation.

Top-of-the-mind health care topics in states are Medicaid and implementation of the federal Affordable Care Act. Medicaid enrollment continues to grow, federal stimulus funds have disappeared, and in many states providers are pressuring for increased reimbursement. States also must grapple with complying with mandates in the federal Affordable Care Act. The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to rule on the constitutionality of the law sometime in 2012. In the meantime, states must decide how far to go in their own implementation.

Rural households have worse health outcomes than urban households. Access to care is limited due to less insurance coverage, financial hardship and geographical access to care. Highlighted state policies address increasing the health care workforce in rural areas.

The majority of state Medicaid programs are testing models of coordinated medical care to improve quality and reduce costs, particularly for patients with multiple chronic illnesses.  Patient-centered medical homes are similar to managed care approaches and health maintenance organizations, but ask providers to focus on improving care rather than managing costs. Such medical homes focus on improving the relationship between doctors and patients, aim to put the patient at the center of the care system, and provide coordinated and integrated care over time and across care settings. Descriptions of eleven states’ pilot programs or authorizing legislation are included.

State prescription drug monitoring programs are used to control drug misuse that cause the epidemic of accidental deaths. CSG's interstate compact will enable efficient data sharing between states for public health and law enforcement purposes.

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Council of State Governments applauds provisions included in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act that provide funding for states to support the adoption of health information technology; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Council of State Governments calls on the federal government to continue to lead the effort to implement a nationwide network of health information technology systems and devise standards that ensure private-sector and state-supported systems are interoperable; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Council of State Governments urges the federal government to encourage providers to adopt secure, effective health information technology systems.
 

A survey of states' adoption of health information technology, included methodology and percent of prescriptions transmitted electronically.