May 14, 2010 By Wayne Hanson
What changes will health care reform require in counties' information technology infrastructure? Will there be coordination, reporting, etc. requirements that necessitate new investment in technology? In a National Association of Counties webinar today, NACo's Associate Legislative Director Paul Beddoe responded to that question from Digital Communities, saying that this is obviously a big concern, and NACo will be working with governors and Medicaid directors on it. "There is a provision in the Affordable Care Act," said Beddoe, "to have HHS develop health information technology enrollment standards and protocols. And there is permissive language that the secretary may require states and other entities to adopt those protocols, to merge health information technology with other human services enrollment activities."
Andrea Maresca, health and human services legislative director of the National Governors Association said that while eligibility and support systems are outdated, there is no money, under current financial conditions, to upgrade. "While it makes sense to have standards," she said, "operations and hardware issues are less clear at this point."
Moderator Maeghan Gilmore said that NACo will soon have the complete webinar online.
All over the country, community leaders are looking to boost economic development through various initiatives. One key element in many of those initiatives is the use of information technology. When local governments build IT infrastructure, create e-government applications, assist high-tech startups or otherwise focus on technology, they create conditions that draw businesses to their communities and help retain skilled workers. This paper discusses and provides examples of these various ways local government can use technology to ultimately make a community more attractive to businesses, visitors and residents.