§ 9-2-117. Office of rural health created; duties.
(a) The office of rural health is created within the department of health. The office shall:
(i) Serve as a clearinghouse for information on primary health care services in communities and rural areas of Wyoming and provide for dissemination of information by appropriate means to interested citizens of the state;
(ii) Provide technical assistance and consultation services to communities and rural areas, including hospitals located in these communities and rural areas, and thereby assist citizens’ groups, local officials and health professionals to:
(A) Recruit and retain health care professionals and support personnel as required;
(B) Assess health care needs and priorities in rural areas;
(C) Identify sources of funding and programming, including information on rural health care districts;
(D) Establish strong working relationships with health care professionals throughout the state;
(E) Repealed by Laws 2016, ch. 37, § 2.
(F) Assist in the development of rural health clinics;
(G) Repealed by Laws 2016, ch. 37, § 2.
(iii) Contract, if necessary, with other entities to carry out duties prescribed under this section, and to conduct an active and ongoing recruitment program for physicians and other health care professionals, subject to the availability of funds, and to engage in the following activities:
(A) Assist communities in their effort to recruit and retain physicians and other health care professionals;
(B) Assist communities in the contact and evaluation of potential candidates;
(C) Conduct community studies to ascertain viable support for health care professionals;
(D) Assist physicians and other health care professionals and their families to find communities that will meet their needs and expectations;
(E) Maintain close liaison with government and private sources of health care providers;
(F) Assess the availability of health care providers in the state;
(G) Facilitate incorporation of mid-level providers into the state health delivery system.
(iv) Collaborate with state agencies, private health organizations and professional and community organizations in a continuing effort to improve needed rural, primary care and other health care services for the people of Wyoming;
(v) Administer the loan repayment programs created by W.S. 9-2-118 and 9-2-119;
(vi) In collaboration with the state health officer and the state chief information officer, represent the department of health in a consortium of state agencies, private health organizations and professional and community organizations to facilitate the operations of a statewide interoperable telemedicine/telehealth network using existing internet protocol based communication and videoconferencing infrastructure and telecommunication services to the extent possible. The consortium shall:
(A) Consist of members appointed by the director of the department of health, to include the Wyoming chief information officer or the officer’s designee;
(B) Coordinate the development and promotion of statewide standards for an interoperable telemedicine/telehealth network and, where applicable, promote definitions and standards for statewide electronic health transactions;
(C) Promote and conduct education programs that inform network users that information communicated through the use of telemedicine/telehealth shall conform with state and federal privacy and security laws and information security programs established by the state chief information officer;
(D) Have the authority to seek funds for consortium operation and contract as needed to carry out its responsibilities.
(vii) In collaboration with the state health officer and the state chief information officer or their designees, coordinate with appropriate state agencies to establish incentives to implement, promote and facilitate the voluntary exchange of secure telemedicine/telehealth network information between and among individuals, entities and agencies that are providing and paying for services authorized under the Medicaid program, in conformity with rules adopted by the state chief information officer;
(viii) In collaboration with the state health officer and the state chief information officer or their designees, develop and promote a common direction for a statewide interoperable telemedicine/telehealth network among state agencies, in conformity with rules adopted by the department of enterprise technology services;
(ix) As required by W.S. 33-1-303(a)(iv) and in collaboration with the state health officer and the state chief information officer or their designees, collaborate with professional and occupational licensure boards concerning the promulgation of rules and definitions related to the practice of telemedicine/telehealth and the use of telemedicine/telehealth technologies.