Act 54 of 2015 charged the Green Mountain Care Board with a new regulatory task: oversight of the budget and core activities of Vermont Information Technology Leaders (VITL). Specifically, Act 54 tasked the Board to “[a]nnually review the budget and all activities of VITL and approve the budget, consistent with available funds, and the core activities associated with public funding.” See 2015 Vt. Acts & Resolves No. 54 (Act 54), § 7 (adding 18 V.S.A. § 9375(b)(2)(C)). Under Vermont law, VITL is “designated . . . to operate the exclusive statewide health information exchange network.” 18 V.S.A. § 9352(c)(1). Each year, the Secretary of Administration (or its designee the Department of Vermont Health Access (DVHA)) funds this work by “enter[ing] into procurement grant agreements with VITL” after the Board “approves VITL’s core activities and budget.” Id. This division of regulatory tasks recognizes the interdependent roles of the Board and the Administration in managing the state’s relationship with VITL: The Board’s oversight is intended to provide strategic guidance and policy parameters within which the Administration, through DVHA, operationalizes that relationship.
Relevant Statutes & Legislation
Review Process Principles
- The review process will be transparent and will incorporate public input.
- The Board will review VITL’s budget and core activities in order to determine whether they reflect a strategy and priorities consistent with the State’s health care reform goals and the HIT Plan. The Board will not direct the technical details of VITL’s work or the details of VITL’s contractual relationship with the State.
- Third, the Board’s review process must be structured and timed in order to assist DVHA and VITL in negotiating timely, effective grant agreements each year.
- Fourth, the process must result in Board decisions that are sufficiently clear to enable VITL to do its work and DVHA to support that work without requiring repeated clarification or intervention by the Board.
The Board will review VITL’s budget and activities through a series of open Board meetings, soliciting public and stakeholder input at each step consistent with the Board’s standard practice and culminating in a written decision. VITL and DVHA, as the entities who must operationalize any decisions by the Board, will be present for and actively involved in all public meetings on this topic. Other stakeholders and Vermonters are welcome and encouraged to attend, participate, and offer input. The Board’s two key goals for this process are (1) providing a written decision that is sufficiently clear and timely to enable VITL and DVHA to conclude their annual contracting process by July 1 each year; and (2) ensuring that VITL’s budget and activities align with the State’s health care policy goals, within the funding made available by the Legislature.
Above is a guidance document issued by the Green Mountain Care Board regarding the criteria developed by Vermont Information Technology Leaders pursuant to 18 V.S.A. § 9352(i)(2). The document includes an appendix containing the criteria. The Board again thanks VITL for this work, an important step in achieving the goal of a high-quality, interoperable system of clinical information, and emphasizes its expectation that Vermont providers will use these criteria in implementing and upgrading their electronic health record systems.