Texas Releases HIT Plan

CMS required the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) https://hhs.texas.gov  to develop a “Health Information Technology (Health IT) Strategic Plan” in order to renew the Texas Medicaid 1115 Healthcare Transformation and Quality Improvement Program demonstration waiver.

The waiver renewal required HHSC to establish a health IT or HIE model that will achieve better health outcomes and bring increased value to healthcare providers, institutions, and community partners. The goal is to link services and core providers across the continuum of care using health IT initiatives and strategies.

Texas is working to increase access to health data across the healthcare continuum by improving provider technologies. These technologies can include EHR systems and strategic use of limited resources to develop methods for establishing interoperability.

Developing Health IT adoption strategies requires building on the Texas Health IT ecosystem. This is to be achieved by increasing the number of connected Medicaid providers, expanding the HIE network, and establishing a single state-designated connection point for the secure exchange of clinical data with the Texas HHS, MCOs, and national networks.

According to reported data, EHR use in Texas has climbed to rates close to the rates achieved at the national level. The Texas Medical Association reports that over 85 percent of physicians are using EHRs in their daily practice

The Texas Medicaid EHR Incentive/P1 Program a federal program administered by HHSC has provided almost 11,000 Medicaid providers with financial resources to implement electronic systems.

Projected outcomes include:

  • More accurate and complete information about a client’s health
  • Decreases in fragmented care across care coordination teams
  • Provide secure information sharing with clients electronically
  • Provide timely information to help diagnose health problems sooner


As of September 1, 2019, the program has disbursed over $864 million federal incentive dollars to 10,472 eligible Medicaid professionals and to 343 hospitals.

The strategy is also intended to assist local HIEs by enabling HIEs to connect to ambulatory providers and hospitals in their respective areas. Local HIEs were reimbursed for connectivity costs incurred during the connection process.

Today, local HIEs can transmit data through a set of state level shared services made available to each local network by the Texas HIE platform. This model enables electronic exchange of clinical data among providers as well as with Texas Medicaid to achieve better care coordination.

Go to https://hhs.texas.gov/sites/default/files/documents/laws-regulations/policies-rules/1115-waiver/waiver-renewal/health-it-strategic-plan-draft.pdf to view the DRAFT Health IT Strategic Plan. For more information email HHSHealthIT@hhsc.state.tx.us.

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