Schwarzenegger Announces Calif. Health IT Network PlanLos Angeles Times: California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger unveiled a high-tech vision for his state Tuesday, including an unprecedentedly broad computer network. "Schwarzenegger joined U.S. Chief Technology Officer Aneesh Chopra at the UC Davis Cancer Center on Tuesday to announce the launch of the country's largest 'telehealth' system, which organizers say will one day connect patients to hundreds of hospitals and clinics statewide using broadband technology." The broadband network will be devoted entirely to the health care sector (Hennessy-Fiske, 8/18).
Modern Healthcare notes that "Schwarzenegger lumped the telecommunications network's development in with construction of bridges, highways and other concrete-and-steel projects included in his administration's $60 billion infrastructure development program, but he also pointed to the special role information technology plays in saving lives and improving public health. ... The California Telehealth Network will give patients at healthcare clinics in rural and medically underserved areas across the state telecommunications access to specialists at state teaching hospitals" (Conn, 8/18).
Meanwhile, "[t]he Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services on Tuesday sent a letter to state Medicaid directors detailing the qualification terms for a 90% matching fund rate for administrative expenses that go toward information technology," McKnight's reports. "This funding, along with a 100% FFP for state spending on provider incentive payments for EHR, is available through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act" (8/19). This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.