Wyoming Offers Free EHR to Medcaid Providers

Staff Writer | Healthcare Informatics | June 1, 2012

The Wyoming Department of Health, along with Medical Informatics Engineering (MIE), a web-based electronic health record (EHR) provider, has announced it is the first state to offer a free, fully certified EHR to any and all Medicaid providers in Wyoming.  MIE's WebChart EHR will be the EHR offered by the Wyoming Department of Health.

“Initially, we had a limited EHR adoption rate in Wyoming because many of our physicians come from small to mid-sized practices and were unable to find a cost effective and efficient EHR solution that wouldn’t disrupt workflow,” James Bush, M.D. and medical director of the Wyoming Department of Health, said in a statement. “Many of our physicians also believed that there was no point in having an EHR if it didn’t connect with a health information exchange (HIE), hospitals, labs, pharmacies and/or other physician specialists.” 

According to Bush, by offering a free EHR to Medicaid providers, the department was able to test the notion of electronic health records with minimal risk to the physician while also integrating all health data from participating Medicaid physicians into the Wyoming Department of Health’s HIE.  He says this gives it a big picture look at the state’s biggest health issues and helps it strategically address these issues...

Open Health News' Take: 

Kudos to the State of Wyoming for providing free EHRs and PHRs to their physicians. Rapid adoption of these technologies by Wyoming physicians and the ability to gather the data into the Statewide HIE shows this was a wise move that other states may want to follow. At the same time it should be noted that these are not open soruce solutions. Wyoming chose proprietary, closed-source solutions that the state is paying for (hence "free" to the providers). It may have been wiser if they had adopted open soruce solutions that would not lock-in their providers into commercial vendors. The state could have chosen from a large range of open source EHRs and PHRs. Wyoming is showing the way to other states, which we hope will choose open source solutions.