WHEREAS, health information technology (HIT) and a statewide health information exchange (HIE) would improve the quality and reduce the cost of health care and promote the public health in Missouri by:
- Reducing preventable medical errors and avoiding duplication of treatments and procedures;
- Improving the coordination of care and promoting informed decision-making among health care providers over time and regardless of geography;
- Giving Missourians more complete, accurate information with which to make decisions about their own health care;
- Making health information available at the point of care for all patients;
- Promoting the use of standardized electronic health records and interoperable systems with strict safeguards in place to protect patient privacy;
- Lowering administrative costs and reducing clerical errors;
- Enhancing research by reducing the time it takes to evaluate promising medical techniques, devices and drugs;
- Reducing the time it takes to bring safe, effective products and practices to health care consumers; and
WHEREAS, on February 17, the President signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 which included the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act to harness and direct the power of technology to enhance health care delivery; and
WHEREAS, the HITECH Act sets forth a plan for advancing the effective implementation of electronic health records and the necessary infrastructure for secure exchange of health information to improve quality of care and establish a foundation for health care reform; and
WHEREAS, on August 20, 2009, the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) for Health Information Technology within the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services released a funding opportunity announcement for state grants to promote health information exchange, which required states to submit an application for funding for planning and implementation of a statewide health information exchange, by October 16, 2009, for which the State of Missouri submitted a timely grant application; and
WHEREAS, a statewide health information exchange must be designed and implemented with clear policies and standards in compliance with state and federal law; and developed in consultation with privacy experts, physicians and consumer advocates for safeguarding the privacy and security of patients' health information and ensuring its appropriate use; and
WHEREAS, the federal government is making substantial investments in HIT and HIE through state grants and payments to physicians, hospitals, federally qualified health centers and other qualified health care providers who adopt and meaningfully use electronic health records; regional HIT extension centers to support physician adoption of electronic health records; health informatics programs at colleges and universities; and providers of broadband and telehealth technologies; and
WHEREAS, the development of health information technology and the creation of a statewide health information exchange will have a positive economic impact in Missouri and will promote job creation and a skilled workforce.
NOW THEREFORE, I, JEREMIAH W. (JAY) NIXON, GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF MISSOURI, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the State of Missouri do hereby order:
- The creation of the Missouri Office of Health Information Technology, hereafter referred to as MO-HITECH. MO-HITECH shall be assigned to the Department of Social Services. MO-HITECH shall promote the development and application of an effective HIT/HIE infrastructure for the State of Missouri.
- MO-HITECH will be led by the Director of the Department of Social Services, Ronald J. Levy, who shall serve as the HIT/HIE Coordinator for the state of Missouri. The Coordinator shall ensure the coordination, integration and alignment of efforts with Medicaid and public health programs and the statewide health information exchange. The Coordinator shall oversee and manage on behalf of the state of Missouri the ONC grant funding made available to support the state's HIT/HIE planning and implementation activities.
- The MO-HITECH Advisory Board is hereby created. The Advisory Board will be responsible for advising the state on the development of Missouri's HIT/HIE strategic and operational plan, including a clear statement of health care improvement goals, and a long-term plan for sustainability of Missouri's HIE infrastructure in compliance with the directives of the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology by April 2010. MO-HITECH will be responsible for communicating these plans to the Governor and to the General Assembly. Upon approval of the state's operating plan by the Office of the National Coordinator, the Advisory Board will terminate unless extended by Executive Order.
- The MO-HITECH Advisory Board shall be co-chaired by the HIT/HIE Coordinator and a private member of the Board to be appointed by the Governor. The Advisory Board shall consist of no more than 20 members appointed by the Governor, including key private sector stakeholders representing health care consumers, health care providers, the mental health community, privacy advocates, the health insurance industry, and representatives of state government as deemed appropriate by the Governor.
- MO-HITECH shall manage and is hereby authorized to seek funds which may be available for HIT/HIE initiatives from any source, including private funds, federal grants and matching funds. The Office shall provide for the professional and administrative support of the Advisory Board, and the ongoing operations of the office. Managerial and support personnel and expenses necessary to fulfill the mission of MO-HITECH shall be paid from existing resources including, but not limited to, the ONC funding and from appropriations which may be made specifically for it.
- Executive Order 06-03 is rescinded.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused to be affixed the Great Seal of the State of Missouri, in the City of Jefferson, on this 4th day of November, 2009.