Maryland aims to lead nation in Health IT by 2012

Maryland is preparing for an ambitious Health IT future. Today Governor Martin O’Malley held a roundtable with health industry leaders, experts, and state officials to discuss the future of health care reform and innovation in the state. At the meeting, the Governor outlined his agenda for developing Maryland’s Health IT economy and being a national leader in the field by 2012.

Currently, the health care sector employs nearly 220,000 people statewide, a figure that is expected to increase as a result of federal health care reform, to about 264,000 by 2018. The Governor’s plan aims to increase this even further by recruiting jobs in the emerging Health IT industry. To this aim, the O’Malley administration is working to make Maryland the national leader in Health IT by 2012.

In order to reach this goal, Governor O’Malley and Lt. Governor Brown intend to develop a statewide health information exchange and create universal compliance standards for all health care providers in Maryland. By doing this, the administration hopes that they will foster innovation and capitalize on emerging Health IT tools to improve service delivery and create jobs. The administration is also working closely with the Chesapeake Regional Information System for our Patients (CRISP), to provide information to Maryland’s small business community about the advantages of utilizing Health IT and future potential business opportunities. So far, CRISP has been the recipient of nearly $15 million in Regional Extension grant money, as reported in April.

Maryland is one of three states with a State Health IT Plan that has been approved by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services National Coordinator for Health Information Technology – a designation which grants Maryland eligibility for federal Heath IT funding and paves the way for the development of their health information exchange. The State Health IT Plan will be expanded through the Governor’s Health IT agenda in order to maximize the potential for federal funding, job creation and economic development.

“Advancing our vision for Health IT will further this progress, and help us advance toward our goals for creating and saving jobs, and improving the quality of care in our State while reigning in costs,” said Governor O’Malley.