ASSEMBLY, No. 4044
STATE OF NEW JERSEY
INTRODUCED FEBRUARY 26, 2007
Assemblyman HERB CONAWAY, JR.
District 7 (Burlington and Camden)
Assemblyman UPENDRA J. CHIVUKULA
District 17 (Middlesex and Somerset)
Assemblyman VINCENT PRIETO
District 32 (Bergen and Hudson)
Assemblywoman LINDA R. GREENSTEIN
District 14 (Mercer and Middlesex)
Assemblyman ROBERT M. GORDON
District 38 (Bergen)
Assemblyman ERIC MUNOZ
District 21 (Essex, Morris, Somerset and Union)
Assemblyman JOSEPH VAS
District 19 (Middlesex)
Assemblyman Conners, Assemblywoman Vainieri Huttle, Assemblyman Greenwald, Assemblywoman Cruz-Perez and Assemblyman Scalera
“New Jersey Health Information Technology Promotion Act”; establishes New Jersey Health Information Technology Commission and provides for Statewide health information technology plan.
CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT
As reported by the Assembly Health and Senior Services Committee on May 10, 2007, with amendments.
An Act establishing the New Jersey Health Information Technology Commission and supplementing Title 26 of the Revised Statutes.
Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
1. This act shall be known and may be cited as the “New Jersey Health Information Technology Promotion Act.”
2. The Legislature finds and declares that:
a. It is in the public interest for New Jersey residents to have all appropriate personal health information available to them and to their treating health care professionals in a medical office, hospital emergency room, other health care facility setting, or pharmacy;
b. Natural disasters and other public health emergencies have demonstrated the need for timely, secure, and accessible health information, in particular for our most vulnerable populations, including senior citizens, persons with disabilities, and those with limited financial means;
c. Health information technology has great potential as one means of furthering progress towards achieving affordable, safe, and accessible health care for all persons by: ensuring that health information is available at the point of care for all patients, while protecting the confidentiality and privacy of the information; improving safety, reducing medical errors, and avoiding duplicative and unnecessary medical procedures; improving coordination of care among hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, home health agencies, pharmacies, and health care professionals; and providing consumers with their own health information in order to encourage greater participation in decisions concerning their own health care;
d. The federal Department of Health and Human Services has estimated that health information technology, in addition to improving the quality of chronic care management and reducing medical errors, could achieve potential savings of almost 10% of total health care spending in the United States;
e. There are many different and conflicting standards for collecting and reporting personal health information within the health care community, which currently hinders the appropriate sharing of patient health care information;
f. State leadership can promote public policy, encourage coordinated efforts in the private health care sector, further public and private partnerships, and maximize federal and regional financial participation, in support of adopting an electronic health information infrastructure;
g. The electronic health information infrastructure should be implemented in the context of a Statewide health information technology plan that includes standards and protocols designed to promote patient education, patient privacy, physician best practices, electronic connectivity to health care data, and generally a more efficient and less costly means of delivering quality health care in New Jersey, in order to provide for an interoperative environment among health care providers, health care payers, employers, and patients in New Jersey;
h. It is time for this State to clearly and unequivocally move its public policy in the direction of establishing an electronic health information infrastructure through a vehicle that provides for a collaborative planning and implementation strategy and includes the relevant public and private stakeholders in developing and achieving a sustainable model for an electronic health information network for New Jersey; and
i. The vehicle for developing and achieving this model will be the New Jersey Health Information Technology Commission established pursuant to this bill.
3. As used in this act:
“Commission” means the New Jersey Health Information Technology Commission established pursuant to this act.
“Health information technology” means technology that is used to electronically collect, store, retrieve, and transfer clinical, administrative, and financial health information.
“Interoperative” means that entities are able to exchange data accurately, effectively, securely, and consistently with different information technology systems, software applications, and networks in such a way that the clinical or operational purposes and meaning of the data are preserved and unaltered.
“Plan” means the Statewide health information technology plan that is developed and implemented pursuant to this act.
4. It is the public policy of this State to promote, encourage, facilitate, and support the development, utilization, and improvement of health information technology, including the effectuation of a secure, 1[regional] integrated and interoperative, Statewide1 health care information infrastructure in accordance with a Statewide health information technology plan that is developed and implemented pursuant to this act.
5. a. There is established the New Jersey Health Information Technology Commission. For the purpose of complying with the provisions of Article V, Section IV, paragraph 1 of the New Jersey Constitution, the commission is established within the Department of Health and Senior Services, but, notwithstanding the establishment, the commission shall be independent of any supervision or control by the department or any board or officer thereof.
b. The commission shall assume primary responsibility within State government for the development, implementation, and oversight of the Statewide health information technology plan. The plan shall be designed to establish a secure, integrated 1and interoperative1, 1[regional] Statewide1 electronic health information infrastructure for the sharing of electronic health information among health care facilities, health care professionals, public and private payers, and patients, which complies with all State and federal privacy requirements and links all components of the health care delivery system through secure and appropriate exchanges of health information for the purpose of enhancing health care quality, patient safety, communication of patient information, disease management capabilities, patient and provider satisfaction, clinical and administrative cost reductions, 1fraud and abuse prevention and detection,1 and public health emergency preparedness.
c. In developing and implementing the plan, the commission shall, at a minimum, give consideration to the need and means to:
(1) educate the general public and health care professionals about the value of an electronic health infrastructure for improving patient care;
(2) 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;
(3) promote the use of national standards for the development of an 1[interoperable] interoperative1 system, including provisions relating to security, privacy, data content, structures and format, vocabulary, and transmission protocols;
(4) make strategic investments in equipment and other infrastructure elements that will facilitate the ongoing development of a Statewide infrastructure;
(5) provide funding for the ongoing development and maintenance costs of a Statewide health information system1, which shall be known as the New Jersey Health Information Bank1;
(6) incorporate existing health care information technology initiatives in order to avoid incompatible systems and duplicative efforts;
(7) integrate the components of the New Jersey Health Information Security and Privacy Collaboration in the Department of Banking and Insurance; 1[and]1
(8) address issues related to data ownership, governance, and confidentiality and security of patient information1;
(9) promote the deployment of health information technology in primary care provider practices; and
(10) provide for the deployment of open-source software to effectuate the purposes of paragraph (9) of this subsection1.
6. a. The commission shall be comprised of 1 171 members as follows:
(1) the Commissioners of Health and Senior Services, Banking and Insurance, and Human Services, and the State Treasurer, or their designees, who shall serve ex officio; and
(2) 1 131 public members, who shall be appointed by the Governor no later than the 1[30th] 60th1 day after the effective date of this act, as follows: 1[one person upon the recommendation of the New Jersey Hospital Association; one person upon the recommendation of the New Jersey Council of Teaching Hospitals; one person upon the recommendation of the Health Care Association of New Jersey; one person upon the recommendation of the Medical Society of New Jersey; one person upon the recommendation of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey; one person upon the recommendation of the New Jersey Institute of Technology; one person upon the recommendation of the New Jersey Association of Health Plans; one person upon the recommendation of the New Jersey Pharmacists Association; one person upon the recommendation of the New Jersey State Nurses Association; one person upon the recommendation of the New Jersey Primary Care Association; one person upon the recommendation of the Mental Health Association in New Jersey; one person upon the recommendation of the New Jersey Health Care Quality Institute; one person upon the recommendation of the New Jersey Business and Industry Association; one person upon the recommendation of the New Jersey State AFL-CIO; one person upon the recommendation of AARP New Jersey; one] three physicians engaged in private practice in this State, one of whom is a pediatrician and one a psychiatrist; two persons who represent acute care hospitals in this State, one of whom represents a teaching hospital and the other a non-teaching hospital; a registered professional nurse practicing in this State, a pharmacist practicing in this State; a person who represents a clinical laboratory operating in this State; an attorney practicing in this State with demonstrated expertise in health privacy issues; a person who represents health benefits plans operating in this State; a1 person 1[upon the recommendation of] who represents1 a Quality Improvement Organization located in New Jersey that contracts with the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to improve the efficiency and effectiveness, economy, and quality of services provided to Medicare beneficiaries; and 1[one member] two members1 of the public with a demonstrated 1professional1 expertise in issues relating to the work of the commission.
b. The public members shall serve for a term of three years; except that, of the public members first appointed, 1[seven] five1 shall serve for a term of three years, 1[six] five1 for a term of two years, and 1[four] three1 for a term of one year. Vacancies in the membership of the commission shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointments were made.
c. The commission shall organize as soon as may be practicable, but no later than the 1[30th] 45th1 day after the appointment of its members, and shall select a chairperson from among the public members. 1[The chairperson shall appoint a secretary who need not be a member of the commission.]1 The public members shall serve without compensation, but may be reimbursed for necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their duties as provided in subsection g. of this section.
d. A majority of the total authorized membership of the commission shall constitute a quorum at any meeting thereof. Action may be taken and motions and resolutions adopted by the commission at any meeting of the commission by the affirmative vote of a majority of the quorum of the members who are present. A vacancy in the membership of the commission shall not impair the right of a quorum of the members to exercise all the powers and perform all the duties of the commission.
e. (1) The commission shall appoint a full-time executive director, who shall serve as secretary to the commission. The executive director shall serve at the pleasure of the commission and shall be qualified by training and experience to perform the duties of the position. The executive director shall be in the unclassified service of the Civil Service and may hire properly qualified employees, within the limits of funds appropriated or otherwise made available to the commission, who shall also be employed in the unclassified service of the Civil Service; except that employees performing stenographic or clerical duties shall be in the career service and appointed pursuant to Title 11A of the New Jersey Statutes.
(2) The commission may appoint, retain, or employ consultants on a contract basis or otherwise, who are deemed necessary, and as may be within the limits of funds appropriated or otherwise made available to it for its purposes.
(3) The commission shall be entitled to the assistance and services of the employees of any State department, board, bureau, commission or agency as it may require and as may be available to its for its purposes, and to incur traveling and other miscellaneous expenses necessary to perform its duties, within the limits of funds appropriated or otherwise made available to it for its purpose.
f. The commission shall meet at least quarterly and may meet at other times at the call of the chairman. The commission shall in all respects comply with the provisions of the "Open Public Meetings Act," P.L.1975, c.231 (C.10:4-6 et seq.).
g. In addition to any other powers authorized by law, the commission shall have the authority, in accordance with State law, to:
(1) make and enter into contracts to purchase services and supplies;
(2) develop and submit a proposed budget;
(3) accept gifts and charitable contributions;
(4) apply for, receive, and expend grants from governmental or private nonprofit sources;
(5) adopt regulations, pursuant to the "Administrative Procedure Act," P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.), to effectuate the purposes of this act;
(6) establish charges for and collect payments from persons and entities for the provision of services or as the commission otherwise determines necessary to effectuate the purposes of this act;
(7) receive and expend appropriations;
(8) enter into a reimbursable work program with other State government agencies or private entities under which funds are transferred from the other agencies or entities to the commission for the performance of activities pursuant to this act; and
(9) provide such other services and perform such other functions as the commission deems necessary to fulfill its responsibilities under this act.
h. The commission shall, no later than 18 months after its initial meeting and annually thereafter, report to the Governor, and to the Legislature pursuant to section 2 of P.L.1991, c.164 (C.52:14-19.1), concerning its activities and the status of, and actions taken regarding development, implementation, and oversight of the Statewide health information technology plan. The commission shall include in that report any findings and recommendations that it desires to make, along with any legislative bills that it desires to recommend for adoption by the Legislature.
7. This act shall take effect immediately.