Healthcare IT could further strain Medicaid budgets, state directors say

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Peter Kress
Peter Kress
Many state Medicaid directors worry that implementing healthcare information exchanges (HIE) will sap money from already diminishing Medicaid funds, according to speakers at the recent Health Information Management Systems Society gathering in Atlanta.

A majority of states are already facing budget shortfalls in the range of billions of dollars, and cuts to Medicaid programs have gone into effect in a number of those states. Speaking at the HIMSS meeting last week, Carol H. Steckel, chairman of the National Association of State Medicaid Directors, said there were an “abundance of unknowns” when it comes to implementing HIEs, according to the Bureau of National Affairs. In addition to concerns over federal matching funds, Steckel highlighted logistical concerns, including privacy and security problems, sustaining such a large system and how to connect states to a national information exchange.

On March 25, McKnight's will host a free online seminar discussing new developments in information technology in long-term care. Peter Kress, vice president and CIO of ACS Retirement-Life Communities, will host the seminar, which is part of McKnight's Fourth Annual Online Expo on March 24 and 25. For more information and to register for free, visit www.mcknights.com/marchexpo.