SPECIAL AUDIO REPORT: Does California Need a Health IT Czar?

Stakeholders at the California Regional Health Information Organization summit on Oct. 20 discussed the possibility of designating a health IT “czar” for the state and other recommendations for advancing health information technology in California. The summit was the last scheduled meeting with the organization’s initial grant.

Dr. Donald Holmquest, who became CalRHIO’s first full-time CEO in August, said that no individual currently holds responsibility and funding authority for health IT issues but that creating such an office could allow the legislature to “empower that entity, not only to address standards issues and uniformity, but perhaps there would be some money to fund this system that the state needs.”

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) has pledged $240 million to support health IT efforts in the state and is expected to announce his health IT program in December.

The special audio report also includes comments from Molly Coye — speaker at the summit and founder and CEO of HealthTech, a not-for-profit education and research organization focused on IT — and Cindy Ehnes, director of the Department of Managed Health Care and board member of CalRHIO (Rebillot, California Healthline, 10/25).

E-mail editor@chcf.org with comments or questions about California Healthline special audio reports.

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