2012-10-15 Federal Programs Report

DATE:October 15, 2012
FROM:Flint Waters, State Chief Information Officer
SUBJECT:Federal Programs
CC:Office of the Governor

The Wyoming Department of Enterprise Technology Services (ETS) is required to report involvement in Federal programs pursuant to Wyoming Statute. The department is directly involved in three Federal programs:

  • Health Information Exchange (HIE) - HIE Coordination

  • LinkWYOMING - Statewide Broadband Coordination

  • Wyoming E-Rate reimbursement program for schools and libraries

ETS does not aggregate, consolidate or share State data with Federal entities. The Department is structured under the premise that State agencies are the caretakers for their respective and supporting data on behalf of the citizens they serve. Employees of ETS assist in the design, management and secure delivery of solutions on behalf of agencies, but does not take ownership of any content. ETS does not provide data access to the Federal Government.

Health Information Exchange:

Under the leadership of Governor Freudenthal, the State of Wyoming applied for funds under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 related to Health Information Exchange.

In 2010, the State of Wyoming received an ARRA Cooperative Agreement grant award from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) for the purpose of facilitating the widespread adoption and use of electronic health information exchange among entities serving Wyoming. Governor Freudenthal created a task force with representation from public and private stakeholders and charged the task force with developing the Strategic and Operational Plans required by the Cooperative Agreement. Members of the task force created a non-profit entity, the Wyoming e-Health Partnership, Inc., to carry out the Strategic and Operational Plans. The grant funds are passed through to the e-Health Partnership and ETS oversees the grant activities.

In 2011, the HIT Coordinator position required by the Cooperative Agreement was created as a dedicated position to provide subject matter expertise with a focus on leveraging available funding and co-existence with State technology portfolios (none of which are within ETS) to facilitate a robust suite of health information exchange services for the benefit of Wyoming health care providers and consumers. While we are responsible for coordinating these activities, we do not house the associated data. The grant also authorized the hiring of an administrative position to facilitate the program, but ETS has elected not to hire that position and has submitted it to the Governor for closing. This request is to prevent the potential dependence on a position that would eventually have to be funded by the State.

The e-Health Partnership is poised to increase the capacity for the electronic exchange of clinical data between Wyoming health care providers with two Wyoming hospitals committing to participate in health information exchange services in the last month. As the e-Health Partnership moves into Phase II of Wyoming’s Strategic and Operational Plans, ETS will assist State agencies with technical architecture and data security and privacy issues as they investigate participating in health information exchange.

Statewide Broadband - High speed Internet access:

Under the leadership of Governor Freudenthal, the State of Wyoming applied for funds under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 related to broadband adoption and expansion.

The State of Wyoming applied for funds under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009 for the enhancement of broadband infrastructure throughout Wyoming. In April of 2012 a Broadband Enterprise Architect was hired in an existing full time State of Wyoming position, to work and assist, on all broadband projects that benefit the citizens of Wyoming. This individual works throughout Wyoming communities to help coordinate efforts to increase broadband capacity for Wyoming. This program, while initially Federally funded, is intended to facilitate the ease with which Wyoming citizens can gain high speed access to Internet provided services like educational opportunities, distance employment possibilities and other advances of the technology age.

State E-rate Program:

Since 1996 Wyoming has been a participant in the Schools and Library Program of the Universal Service Fund - E-Rate program which provides Federal reimbursement to States for the expansion of Internet capacity for schools and libraries.  In Section 325 of the 2012 Budget Bill, ETS was assigned the responsibility of applying for State E-rate funds.

ETS conducted an evaluation of the duties and responsibilities necessary to manage the state e-rate application submissions and determined a position would be necessary. ETS re-purposed and staffed an existing position to assume the E-rate reporting responsibilities. All E-rate reimbursements are deposited into the School Foundations account. The E-rate Form 470 was posted on September 28, 2012. ETS will review responses to the Unified Network RFP in late October to coincide with the E-rate Form 470 twenty-eight day posting period. A review of the Funding Year 2012 E-rate application has begun.