CORHIO Will Soon Offer Grants to Long-Term and Post-Acute Care Facilities

Date: November 9th, 2011Category: CORHIO e-NewsletterTopics: Long-Term Care

New CORHIO Program Aims to Improve Care Transitions and Collaboration Between Medical Care Providers and Long-Term Care Facilities

Earlier this year, CORHIO was awarded a $1.7 million grant to improve care for patients transitioning between hospitals, long-term care facilities and other post-acute care providers using health information exchange (HIE). Within weeks, CORHIO will announce details of how this grant will be used to fund a new program that will help long-term care providers adopt HIE technology and measure improvements in patient care that result from improved coordination and communication among participating providers.

Until now, the use of HIE has primarily focused on hospitals and large physician practices. However, long-term and post-acute care (LTPAC) providers treat some of the most seriously ill and frail individuals in diverse and multiple care settings with minimal technology coordination. From hospitalization, nursing home admission, home health visits, to repeated hospitalization, having access to timely and accurate health information though HIE could be both life-saving and cost-saving for long-term care patients.

Long-Term Care Patients Have High Rates of Hospitalization & High Health Care Costs

Nearly one in five Medicare patients discharged from the hospital is readmitted within 30 days. This translates to approximately 2.6 million seniors at a cost of over $26 billion every year. Readmission rates are also high for patients covered by Medicaid and private insurance.

Medication errors, poor communication, and poor coordination between providers from the inpatient to outpatient settings, along with the rising incidence of preventable adverse events, have drawn national attention. Health care providers and community-based organizations are aware of the negative effects of poor patient care transitions, but many struggle with fragmentation and lack of collaboration across settings, limited resources, and an expanding aging population with multiple chronic conditions.

HIE Benefits For LTPAC Providers & Patients

By participating in HIE, long-term care organizations have access to more accurate and comprehensive patient information. In case of emergency, or transfer between care facilities, having access to up-to-date and vital patient health information can ensure fewer treatment errors and costly duplication of tests. With HIE, medical providers can retrieve information efficiently to better coordinate care transitions and avoid delay of treatments, resulting in more accurate follow-up.

Eligibility for LTPAC Grant

CORHIO will be offering most of its $1.7 million supplemental ONC grant to eligible long-term care organizations that:

  • Provide skilled nursing, assisted living, home health, hospice care, or any combination of these services
  • Have locations within any of the following Colorado communities: Boulder County, Colorado Springs, Pueblo or San Luis Valley
  • Are willing to implement HIE technology at their facilities and participate in training clinical staff on how to effectively use the technology
  • Agree to track and submit specific data to CORHIO for the purposes of measuring impacts of HIE on patient care and hospital readmissions

Qualified participants will receive technical assistance and access to the CORHIO HIE via the PatientCare 360° portal.

Details of the LTPAC grant and application process are currently being finalized by CORHIO and the the Office of the National Coordinator of Health IT (ONC). Once these details are finalized, which is projected to be in the next four weeks, applications and detailed information will be sent to long-term care providers in the above mentioned communities.

To learn more about the LTPAC grant, visit Health Information Exchange Challenge Grant Program on the ONC website.

If you have questions regarding this grant, please contact Pamela Russell, LTPAC Development & Outreach Manager, by phone at 720-285-3257 or email at