Federal resources aim to improve states' usage of health information technology

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, through a partnership with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, is making available tools and resources for states participating in the State Innovation Models (SIM) initiative.

The program "supports states in planning or implementing a customized, fully developed proposal capable of creating statewide health transformation to improve health care, focusing on Medicare, Medicaid, and Children's Health Insurance Program beneficiaries," according to an April 2 announcement.

ONC and CMS, which funds the SIM initiative, will take existing materials to create new tools to help states in innovation efforts for their health systems, ONC officials explain in a blog post. Many of the resources will be made available at HealthIT.gov; they are available to all states, even ones not participating in the models program.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, in December, announced grants of more than $665 million to be split among 28 states, three territories and the District of Columbia as part of the initiative.

The resources announced by ONC will also allow the agency to help states move toward health IT adoption, information exchange and interoperability so "information is available where and when it matters," according to the officials.

"These online resources are part of an overall effort to advance of goals of better care," National Coordinator Karen DeSalvo says in the announcement. "We are focused on supporting states and partners in developing innovative ways to pay for healthcare, providing tools and resources to support change, and making more information available to consumer and patients."

To learn more:
- read the announcement
- here's the ONC blog post