Connecticut Seal

General Assembly

 

Proposed Bill No. 812

 

January Session, 2015

 

LCO No. 3004

 

*03004*

Referred to Committee on PUBLIC HEALTH

 

Introduced by:

 

SEN. LOONEY, 11th Dist.

SEN. FASANO, 34th Dist.

 

AN ACT CONCERNING ELECTRONIC HEALTH RECORDS AND HEALTH INFORMATION EXCHANGE.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

That: (1) The general statutes be amended to promote the establishment of interoperable electronic health records systems in all health care provider settings and a state-wide health information exchange to enable the secure exchange of health information between health care providers regardless of the health care provider's affiliation, location or health record technology; (2) the general statutes be amended to designate "eHealth Connecticut" as the entity for advancing the use and adoption of electronic health records in all health care provider settings and for coordinating and integrating public and private health information technology and information exchange efforts in the state; (3) the general statutes be amended to require all third-party payers to pay a membership fee of one dollar per month, which shall be deposited into a fund known as the "Health IT Trust Fund", to be used to support the adoption of electronic health records and the implementation of the state-wide health information exchange; (4) the general statutes be amended to require each hospital to adopt an interoperable health records system and enable bidirectional connectivity for the secure exchange of patient health records and information between the hospital and other licensed health care providers using certified electronic health record technology; (5) the general statutes be amended to prohibit any hospital, in implementing its interoperable health record system, from (A) requiring a health care provider to pay for any hardware, software or other internal cost associated with the hospital's implementation of its health records system, (B) charging any fee for connecting to, or exchanging information through, the hospital's health records system, (C) refusing to implement any available hardware, software or other functionality that would support such exchange, and (D) requiring a health care provider to adopt, add to or modify any information technology; (6) the general statutes be amended to require each hospital to support, to the extent permitted by federal law, the adoption and implementation of electronic health records systems by independent health care providers who refer patients to the hospital by funding eight-five per cent of the information technology, software and training costs associated with the health care provider's adoption of electronic health records systems and paying for any electronic interface necessary to allow the health care providers' electronic health records systems to communicate with the hospital's system; (7) the general statutes be amended to establish a tax credit to allow hospitals to offset the costs associated with funding the adoption of electronic health records systems by independent health care providers that may be applied against the hospital provider tax, and shall be (A) made on a sliding scale based on the hospital's profitability, and (B) allowed for any hospital that voluntarily provided funding for the adoption of electronic health records systems by independent health care providers within the last three years; (8) the general statutes be amended to require insurers to increase reimbursement to independent health care providers that implement a certified electronic health records system by not less than three per cent; (9) the general statutes be amended to establish a low interest loan and grant program for health care providers to support their adoption of a certified electronic health records system that provides (A) grants of up to ten thousand dollars for health care providers such as primary care providers in rural or high need areas and health care providers that serve a disproportionate number of Medicaid patients, and (B) low interest loans for other eligible health care providers; (10) the State Bond Commission be empowered to authorize the issuance of bonds of the state in accordance with section 3-20 of the general statutes, in principal amounts not exceeding in the aggregate ____ dollars, the proceeds of which shall be deposited into the Health IT Trust Fund to (A) support eHealth Connecticut, (B) provide grants and support programs authorized by this section, and (C) develop the state-wide health information exchange.

Statement of Purpose:

To promote the state-wide implementation of electronic health records among all health care providers and establish a state-wide health information exchange.