The Vermont Statutes Online
Title 18 : Health
Chapter 219 : HEALTH INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY AND TELEHEALTH
Subchapter 001 : HEALTH INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY(Cite as: 18 V.S.A. § 9351)
§ 9351. Health Information Technology Plan
(a)(1) The Department of Vermont Health Access, in consultation with the Department’s Health Information Exchange Steering Committee, shall be responsible for the overall coordination of Vermont’s statewide Health Information Technology Plan. The Plan shall be revised annually and updated comprehensively every five years to provide a strategic vision for clinical health information technology.
(2) The Department shall submit the proposed Plan to the Green Mountain Care Board annually on or before November 1. The Green Mountain Care Board shall approve, reject, or request modifications to the Plan within 45 days following its submission; if the Board has taken no action after 45 days, the Plan shall be deemed to have been approved.
(3)(A) The Department, in consultation with the Steering Committee, shall administer the Plan.
(B) The Plan shall include the implementation of an integrated electronic health information infrastructure for the sharing of electronic health information among health care facilities, health care professionals, public and private payers, and patients. The Plan shall provide for each patient’s electronic health information that is contained in the Vermont Health Information Exchange to be accessible to health care facilities, health care professionals, and public and private payers to the extent permitted under federal law unless the patient has affirmatively elected not to have the patient’s electronic health information shared in that manner.
(C) The Plan shall include standards and protocols designed to promote patient education, patient privacy, physician best practices, electronic connectivity to health care data, access to advance care planning documents, and, overall, a more efficient and less costly means of delivering quality health care in Vermont.
(b) The Health Information Technology Plan shall:
(1) support the effective, efficient, statewide use of electronic health information in patient care, health care policymaking, clinical research, health care financing, and continuous quality improvements;
(2) educate the general public and health care professionals about the value of an electronic health infrastructure for improving patient care;
(3) ensure the use of national standards for the development of an interoperable system, which shall include provisions relating to security, privacy, data content, structures and format, vocabulary, and transmission protocols;
(4) propose strategic investments in equipment and other infrastructure elements that will facilitate the ongoing development of a statewide infrastructure;
(5) recommend funding mechanisms for the ongoing development and maintenance costs of a statewide health information system, including funding options and an implementation strategy for a loan and grant program;
(6) incorporate the existing health care information technology initiatives to the extent feasible in order to avoid incompatible systems and duplicative efforts;
(7) integrate the information technology components of the Blueprint for Health established in chapter 13 of this title, the Agency of Human Services’ Enterprise Master Patient Index and all other Medicaid management information systems being developed by the Department of Vermont Health Access, information technology components of the quality assurance system, the program to capitalize with loans and grants electronic medical record systems in primary care practices, and any other information technology initiatives coordinated pursuant to 3 V.S.A. § 3027; and
(8) address issues related to data ownership, governance, and confidentiality and security of patient information.
(c) The Department of Vermont Health Access, in consultation with the Steering Committee and subject to Green Mountain Care Board approval, may propose updates to the Plan in addition to the annual updates as needed to reflect emerging technologies, the State’s changing needs, and such other areas as the Department deems appropriate. The Department shall solicit recommendations from interested stakeholders in order to propose updates to the Health Information Technology Plan pursuant to subsection (a) of this section and to this subsection, including applicable standards, protocols, and pilot programs, and following approval of the proposed updates by the Green Mountain Care Board, may enter into a contract or grant agreement with appropriate entities to update some or all of the Plan. Upon approval of the updated Plan by the Green Mountain Care Board, the Department of Vermont Health Access shall distribute the updated Plan to the Secretary of Administration; the Secretary of Digital Services; the Commissioner of Financial Regulation; the Secretary of Human Services; the Commissioner of Health; the Commissioner of Mental Health; the Commissioner of Disabilities, Aging, and Independent Living; the Senate Committee on Health and Welfare; the House Committee on Health Care; affected parties; and interested stakeholders. Unless major modifications are required, the Department may present updated information about the Plan to the legislative committees of jurisdiction in lieu of creating a written report.
(d) The Health Information Technology Plan shall serve as the framework within which the Green Mountain Care Board reviews certificate of need applications for information technology under section 9440b of this title. In addition, the Commissioner of Information and Innovation shall use the Health Information Technology Plan as the basis for independent review of State information technology procurements.
(e) The privacy standards and protocols developed in the Statewide Health Information Technology Plan shall be no less stringent than applicable federal and State guidelines, including the “Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information” established under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 and contained in 45 C.F.R., Parts 160 and 164, and any subsequent amendments, and the privacy provisions established under Subtitle D of Title XIII of Division A of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, Pub. L. No. 111-5, § 13400 et seq. The standards and protocols shall require that access to individually identifiable health information is secure and traceable by an electronic audit trail.
(f) [Repealed.] (Added 2009, No. 61, § 1; amended 2009, No. 156 (Adj. Sess.), § I.25; 2011, No. 63, § G.103; 2013, No. 79, § 49b; 2015, No. 172 (Adj. Sess.), § E.306; 2017, No. 85, § F.9, eff. June 28, 2017; 2017, No. 187 (Adj. Sess.), § 2, eff. May 28, 2018; 2019, No. 53, § 4, eff. March 1, 2020.)