Governor Picks OOA To Help Oversee State HIT Initiatives

The Ohio Osteopathic Association has joined with the State of Ohio, BioOhio, and the medical and hospital associations to form a public-private collaborative - Ohio Health Information Partnership (OHIP) - to advance health information technology within Ohio.

The collaborative is funded with $8 million from the Ohio Department of Insurance (ODI) budget using residual funds from the now defunct Ohio Medical Professional Underwriting Association account. These funds have been held in escrow since the 1970s and originated from liability insurance premiums paid by physicians and the hospital community. With the concurrence of the OOA, OHA, and OSMA, these funds will be used for the development and adoption of health information technology in the state. Part of the money will be allocated to develop a statewide health information exchange and part will be used to develop programs to educate providers on the adoption and use of electronic health records.

Through the coordinated efforts of all the stakeholders, the collaborative is seeking to draw down federal matching funds.

It is the intent of the Ohio Health Information Partnership to support local initiatives designed to encourage the use of electronic health records and to develop a loan guarantee program for the purchase of electronic health records software.

OOA Executive Director Jon F. Wills is part of the five-member OHIP team which is coordinating the formation of the non-profit and the grant applications. The non-profit Board will eventually be expanded to include 10 additional representatives.

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