News Release

New Jersey Department of
Banking and Insurance
Acting Commissioner Donald Bryan

For Immediate Release: May 11, 2005

For Further Information: Jaimee Gilmartin - (609) 292-5064

DOBI Announces Healthcare Policy Initiative
Task Force To Evaluate Use of Electronic Medical Records Statewide

TRENTON — At a seminar conducted at Thomas Edison State College, the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance today launched a project that will promote a more efficient medical delivery system, improve the quality of health care received by our citizens and put downward pressure on health insurance rates. The long-term project calls for the development and implementation of Electronic Medical Records statewide, and includes promoting the conversion process of medical data to electronic form.

The New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance HINT/HIPAA Task Force will spearhead the project. It will put together reports conceptualizing the best practices, barriers, and system structures. In its research, the Task Force will also address questions about issues regarding the security, privacy and ownership of electronic medical records.

With the cooperation of the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services, the Task Force will work in conjunction with healthcare payers, providers and government agencies, as well as various federal associations and institutions.

“The HINT/HIPAA Task Force has already established itself nationally and was a major reason why New Jersey was able to successfully deploy the system of electronic health claims required by federal HIPAA legislation,” said Acting Governor Richard J. Codey. “I am confident that with this project, it will produce results that will take our medical record technology to the next level.”

The announcement and seminar included remarks made by executives from Blue Cross/Blue Shield, the New Jersey Hospital Association, Cooper University Hospital and the New Jersey Business and Industry Association, as well as many other groups.

“Instituting an electronic health records system here in New Jersey will be a massive undertaking yet there is so much incentive to make this project a reality,” said Department of Banking and Insurance Acting Commissioner Donald Bryan. “An electronic health records system would improve the quality of health care and make health information available when and where it is needed. Diagnostic tools would suggest the best medical practices. Medical errors would be minimized. Payers and specialists would be able to avoid unnecessary tests and the system would lower administrative costs. But most importantly, the efficiency of an electronic heath records system would reduce the cost of healthcare benefits for hundreds of thousands of people.”

President Bush announced in May 2004 that it is his goal to have a national health information network – including interoperable electronic medical records – by the year 2014.