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State Budget Reveals Plans for IT Modernization, Pilot

It’s not an exact foretelling of tech spend but California’s new state budget should empower notable IT work in public health.

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The state department dedicated to safeguarding public health and helping create positive health outcomes for individuals, families and communities will increasingly include technology in its work this fiscal year.

Gov. Gavin Newsom’s signing of the $308 billion 2022-2023 Fiscal Year state budget made California the “first and only state in the nation that offers universal access to health care coverage, regardless of your immigration status” per the Governor’s Office. But the budget also offers nearly $6.8 billion for the California Department of Public Health for “optimizing the health and well-being of all Californians” — including significant projects in technology and innovation. Among the areas of funding:

  • $20.1 million from the General Fund and 33 positions in FY 2022-2023 to activate an Information Technology, Data Science, and Informatics Framework for a 21st Century Public Health System. That’s the result of a budget change proposal from February seeking the funding for “foundational enterprise and strategic planning activities to modernize public health IT infrastructure and systems and implement the Ecosystem of Data Sharing ... .”
  • $5.9 million from “other funds” in FY 2022-2023 for the Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program Information Technology Project Implementation Reappropriation. The money, CDPH said in May highlights of Newsom’s revision of his then-proposed budget, “reflects a decrease of $5.9 million Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Fund in State Operations to be reappropriated in budget year to continue development and implementation” of the project.
  • $541,000 from the General Fund in FY 2022-2023 for the Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Data Collection Pilot Project set in motion by Assembly Bill 1094 in 2021. The bill, from Assemblymember Joaquin Arambula (D-Fresno), requires CDPH to do a three-year pilot in as many as six counties that agree to take part, “for the identification and collection by coroners and medical examiners of gender identity and sexual orientation in cases of violent death.” Counties must be trained in collecting the data by a “public or private agency with expertise in identifying and collecting clinical data pertaining to sexual orientation and gender identity”; and after the training, a coroner or medical examiner must begin the data collection and “aggregate, deidentify, and annually report the data” to CDPH and county supervisors.
  • $5 million from “other funds” this fiscal year, in what appears to be an initiative not previously funded, for Opioid Overdose Data Collection and Analysis. CDPH has collaborated with the California Department of Health Care Access and Information, the Department of Justice, and the California Health Care Foundation on a California Overdose Surveillance Dashboard since Sept. 22, 2016.
Theo Douglas is Assistant Managing Editor of Industry Insider — California.