Colorado Providers, CORHIO Reflect On Health Information Exchange Progress & Milestones

Date: March 8th, 2012Category: CORHIO e-NewsletterTopics: HIE, CORHIO Network

Much Has Happened Since the First Provider Connected to the HIE One Year Ago

Since the CORHIO health information exchange (HIE) went “live” in Boulder last February, CORHIO has made substantial strides toward its goal of enabling efficient care coordination and improving the overall health of the state. Within the last year, key regional and statewide organizations have joined the HIE and can share patient information across disparate information systems through CORHIO’s secure, interoperable network.

CORHIO has additionally helped hundreds of providers achieve stage 1 of Meaningful Use through the Colorado Regional Extension Center (CO-REC) initiative and has worked with the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing (HCPF) to launch the registration and attestation process for the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program.

HIE Provider Participation Increases

Over the past year, the number of care providers who have committed to connect to the HIE, and work with CORHIO to improve care collaboration among providers in their communities, has greatly expanded. To date, this includes:

  • More than 750 office-based physicians (primary care & specialists)
  • 12 long-term care organizations with 28 facilities across the state – all of which will be participating in our LTPAC Care Transitions Program
  • Five major behavioral health organizations each with dozens of care facilities in the state, including Mental Health Center of Denver, San Luis Valley Mental Health Services, West Central Mental Health Services, Spanish Peaks Behavioral Health Services, and Southwest Mental Health Services
  • 28 hospitals, of which 18 are already connected to the HIE

View a detailed list of participating providers here.

Labs and Public Health Expand HIE Benefits

Participation in HIE extends beyond provider organizations. National and regional laboratories, including Horizon Laboratory, LabCorp, Colorado Laboratory Services (CLS) and Quest Diagnostics, have also signed ‘letters of intent’ (LOI) with CORHIO. Soon participating providers will access their patients’ lab results seamlessly through the HIE portal or through their connected electronic health record (EHR) system. By using HIE, providers will access lab results from multiple labs within a single system, eliminating the need for multiple logins to different lab portals.

Additionally, CORHIO is working with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) to streamline disease reporting for hospitals by implementing automated, electronic lab reporting (ELR) of “reportable conditions,” for diseases such as salmonella and pneumococcal infection.

Both lab and public health data are vital components of the proposed stage 2 Meaningful Use rules released in late February by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). If you are a provider pursuing Medicare EHR incentive payments, please contact CORHIO to learn more about using your HIE connection to meet stage 2 Meaningful Use requirements.

CO-REC Surpasses Goals

The Colorado Regional Extension Center (CO-REC), an initiative of CORHIO and six statewide partner organizations, has also had many achievements this past year. CO-REC is currently ranked third in the nation for reaching milestones, out of 63 federally designated RECs across the nation. The program has surpassed its goal by enrolling 2,529 primary care providers, and it has helped more than 400 physicians from across the state to successfully achieve stage 1 of meaningful use. Most of these physicians have already received their first check to help offset the costs of their technology investments.

Colorado Medicaid EHR Incentive Program Launched

In late 2011, CORHIO began actively working with the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing (HCPF) to communicate the launch of the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program.

Over the past three months, CORHIO helped HCPF:

  • Create an informational webpage for Colorado providers to get more information about qualifying for, and receiving, Medicaid EHR incentive payments
  • Launch the program’s registration and attestation processes
  • Initiate regular monthly email communications on the program to interested providers and stakeholder – please contact CORHIO if you would like to be added to the distribution list

The attestation process and website were activated this week, a few months ahead of the projected schedule developed in 2011. This means that eligible providers who successfully attest this month can expect to receive their incentive payments by this summer.

Overall, CORHIO has successfully created a solid foundation for providers who are actively engaged in the health IT movement and are forging ahead to ensure safer, more efficient care for all patients. To learn more about connecting your organization to the HIE, please visit our Contact Us page or call (720) 285-3200.