KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

Investments In IT Spur Health, Technology Sectors

The Maryland state government will invest $10 million in a statewide health information exchange, a move that complements federal incentives to buy electronic medical records that have been channeled through the stimulus bill, Baltimore Business Journal reports. The exchange – tentatively titled CRISP, for Chesapeake Regional Information System for our Patients – will allow health care providers to quickly share patient information between different organizations, including clinics, hospitals and nursing homes. Maryland insurers plan to provide additional incentive payments for doctors to adopt records on top of the federal money (Dash, 8/5).

Such investments in health IT by the federal government "are likely to drive lots of growth" in the technology sector, The Wall Street Journal's blog, Digits, reports. For instance, Salesforce.com, a tech company, made a $10 million investment in electronic medical record maker Practice Fusion yesterday. Salesforce.com offers a "cloud-computing" service that hosts software used by clients rather than those customers maintaining their own networks and system. Practice Fusion's EMR will "reside of Salesforce.com's cloud" as part of the deal. This type of arrangement "makes sense for doctors' offices, which are typically small businesses without much of an IT staff" (Goldstein, 8/5).

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