BILL ANALYSIS Senate Appropriations Committee Fiscal Summary Senator Christine Kehoe, Chair 270 (Alquist) Hearing Date: 5/18/2009 Amended: 5/5/2009 Consultant: Katie Johnson Policy Vote: Health 9-0 _________________________________________________________________ ____ BILL SUMMARY: SB 270 would create a health information technology advisory panel to advise the Governor and the Legislature on health information technology in California. _________________________________________________________________ ____ Fiscal Impact (in thousands) Major Provisions 2009-10 2010-11 2011-12 Fund Advisory panel staff $50 - 150 $100 - 300$100 - 300 General _________________________________________________________________ ____ STAFF COMMENTS: This bill meets the criteria for referral to the Suspense File. This bill would create a health information technology advisory panel that would consist of 22 members, as specified, to make recommendations to maximize the state's eligibility and award of funds made available by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). The ARRA would provide for a $36 billion over several years, mostly for Medi-Cal and Medicare provider incentives to adopt electronic medical record systems, with $2 billion set aside for competitive grant funding, subject to further guidance from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). To be eligible for provider payments, a provider must demonstrate a "meaningful use" of health information technology. It is estimated that this advisory panel would need between 1 to 3 staff to facilitate its duties annually, which would include making recommendations to maximize the state's eligibility for ARRA awards, to ensure that safety net providers have access to ARRA funds, to the Governor and the Legislature on a mechanism for designating a nonstate entity that would execute tasks related to accessing federal funds and whether such an entity is necessary, for working with higher education to integrate health information technology into its curriculum and clinical education, to appropriate federal entities for standards and certification, on qualifications for centers in the state that may provide technical assistance and best practices on health information technology, to ensure providers have access to ARRA incentive payments, and to ensure that providers understand the meaning of "meaningful use" as defined in federal law. This bill would require that the panel meet at least monthly for the first year, and then as deemed necessary by the chair of the panel. This bill would require the panel to make a recommendation in 2014 whether there would be a need for the advisory panel to exist beyond 2016. This bill would provide that although members would serve without compensation, they would be reimbursed for travel expenses and that consumer representatives could receive a per diem compensation if they would otherwise be unable to attend for economic reasons. Page 2 SB 270 (Alquist) There are currently several public and private initiatives underway in California to respond to the health information technology provisions of the ARRA, including an April 2009 CHHS time-limited collaborative to aid in determining whether the state should play the lead role in providing technical services related to health information technology or if that role would be better suited for a state designated entity (SDE), as provided for in the ARRA. This collaborative is funded primarily with foundation moneys and is expected to complete its task and issue a final report in August of 2009. Also, in April 2009, the Governor appointed a deputy secretary of health information technology in the CHHS. It is unknown whether or not current initiatives could fulfill the role of the advisory board set forth in this bill.