08 Apr Hayden led efforts to share electronic patient data
Madison, Wis. – Secretary Kevin Hayden, whose tenure at the state Department of Health and Family Services is marked by expanded health insurance coverage and the removal of barriers to electronic patient data exchange, is leaving the department effective April 15.
Gov. Jim Doyle announced that Hayden, the former chief executive of Dean Health Plan, is leaving his cabinet post to return to the private sector.
Karen Timberlake, the current deputy secretary at DHFS, has been appointed to succeed Hayden.
“It has been the highest privilege for me to serve Governor Doyle and the people of Wisconsin,” Hayden said in a statement. “My time as Secretary has been some of the most rewarding of my professional career.”
During Hayden’s tenure, the state has implement BadgerCare Plus, which gives every Wisconsin family, regardless of income, access to healthcare coverage for their children.
In the technology realm, Hayden helped the Doyle Administration pass legislation that breaks down barriers to electronic health information exchange. The recently enacted law is designed to give physicians and patients more reliable information to make better decisions about healthcare treatment in emergency rooms and other settings.
Hayden, who is scheduled to be a keynote speaker at WTN’s annual Digital Healthcare Conference, also has had to deal with security breaches associated with the exposure of 260,000 Social Security numbers in mailings to Wisconsin residents enrolled in Senior Care. Earlier this year, Hayden told a legislative committee that DHFS is working with technology vendor Electronic Data Systems to end the practice of using Social Security numbers for the purpose of identification.
In its place, DHFS would use a unique 10-digit number that does not include the Society Security numbers of Wisconsin residents enrolled in state healthcare programs, thereby preventing them from being exposed to identity theft.
Doyle thanked Hayden for his service, both as Secretary of DHFS and as the state’s Medicaid director. “His private-sector perspective helped change the way Wisconsin purchases healthcare, and his service will have a lasting impact,” Doyle said in a statement.
The Governor said Timberlake brings “incredible knowledge and energy” to the DHFS post, and she promised to continue Hayden’s work to expand access to affordable healthcare. The latest example is an expansion of BadgerCare to economically disadvantaged adults, which Doyle said should expand coverage to 98 percent of the state’s residents.
• Law removes barriers to patient data sharing in Wisconsin
• Senate, Assembly pass bill to accommodate patient data exchange
• DHFS to end practice of using Social Security numbers for ID
• Kevin Hayden: Work on eHealth Action Plan includes breaking down barriers
• DHC 2007: Hayden says technology creates magic moment for healthcare delivery