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July 27, 2010

Governor Quinn Signs Bill to Move Health Information Technology Forward
New Law Establishes Framework for Secure Exchange of Electronic Health Records in Illinois

CHICAGO – July 27, 2010. Governor Pat Quinn today signed a bill into law that will create a secure framework for the sharing of electronic health information in Illinois. The new law creates the Health Information Exchange and Technology Act and establishes a state authority to operate the Illinois Health Information Exchange (HIE).

“Creating a more effective, efficient and secure health care system is a top priority of my administration,” said Governor Quinn. “The sharing of electronic medical records through a Health Information Exchange will help ensure that everyone in Illinois receives the best health care possible.”

House Bill 6441 creates the framework necessary for providers and insurers to share health records electronically. The HIE will provide health care providers with a secure system to access a patient’s comprehensive medical history, avoid duplicate tests and procedures, and assure the accuracy of prescription drugs and other medical orders. Electronic health records will also provide patients with more information about the care and treatments they receive and empower them to be more involved in health care decisions.

The new law creates the Health Information Exchange Authority to establish and operate the HIE and foster the widespread adoption of electronic records and participation in the HIE. The legislation also creates an eight-member board to govern the authority. Sponsored by former Rep. Julie Hamos (D-Evanston) and Sen. Don Harmon (D-Oak Park), the new law passed the Illinois General Assembly unanimously and takes effect immediately.

“This is a project I have been passionate about for several years and I am thankful to Governor Quinn for making this a reality,” said Department of Healthcare and Family Services Director Hamos. “Electronic medical records will strengthen the quality and efficiency of health care in Illinois.”

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) provides financial incentives, education, and training opportunities to states to accelerate the adoption of electronic health records and build HIE infrastructure. Earlier this year Governor Quinn announced that Illinois will receive $18.8 million in federal funds to develop a statewide HIE. Governor Quinn has made HIE a priority of his administration’s efforts to maximize Illinois’ share of federal dollars to transform health care, develop the state workforce and expand broadband access to all regions of the state.

The signing of HB 6441 is the result of more than a year of state planning for HIE that brought together dozens of stakeholder organizations from across Illinois. The legislation takes effect immediately. For more information on Illinois’ Health Information Exchange efforts, please visit HIE.illinois.gov.


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