More Than 100 Long-Term and Post-Acute Care Organizations Participating in CORHIO’s Successful Challenge Grant

Date: July 23rd, 2013Category: CORHIO e-NewsletterTopics: SNF, Long-Term Care, Home Health, Transitions of Care

Program transitions to analysis phase to evaluate how care transitions between acute-care hospitals and long-term care is affected by health information exchange

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (ONC) awarded CORHIO a Health Information Exchange (HIE) Challenge Grant in 2011 to help long-term and post-acute care (LTPAC) providers adopt HIE technology to improve care and reduce costs. In particular, the program focused on patients discharged from hospitals and their transition to the care of a skilled nursing facility, long-term acute-care facility, assisted living, home health, or hospice. Through the grant, which is now closed for applications, CORHIO is offering compensation to 119 organizations for participating and meeting the qualifications of certain milestones, such as reporting data on hospital readmissions.

Six Communities Throughout Colorado Participating

The grant program originally focused on five communities: Boulder, Colorado Springs, Pueblo, San Luis Valley, and Cañon City. In April of this year, the ONC allowed CORHIO to extend the grant program to the Denver metro area. Several Denver organizations took advantage of the extension, including Acaria Homecare, Azura Home Health, Azura of Lakewood, Bayada Home Health Care, Christian Living Communities, and The Denver Hospice and Optio Health Services.

“I am very excited about the opportunities this relationship will have enabling us to work more closely with our hospitals and other providers to use shared patient medical information,” says Carol Bartley, Division Director of Bayada Home Health Care. “This will help us to provide the best care and reduce unnecessary hospitalizations. Already, some of our Client Service Managers have found this beneficial. In two cases in our Westminster office, we have been able to quickly obtain data that was missing from our original referrals so our nurses and therapists could have more complete information and provide better care.”

“We now have the ability to view information real-time, which allows us to better prepare for our residents’ and guests’ arrivals, giving us access to more in-depth health information and treatment history prior to our efforts in helping them in their healing process,” says David Tompkins, Director of Clinical Informatics at Christian Living Communities.

Grant Participants Include Several Unique Organizations

As a result of the HIE Challenge Grant, several unique organizations have joined CORHIO. Craig Hospital, a world-renowned center for specialty rehabilitation for people with spinal cord and traumatic brain injuries, also signed on with CORHIO during the Denver metro grant extension period. Through the HIE connection, patients transferred from another participating Colorado acute-care hospital to Craig Hospital will have smoother transitions because the details of their electronic medical records will immediately follow them as they transition facilities. To learn more about Craig Hospital’s connection to CORHIO, see Craig Hospital’s Patients Now Benefitting From HIE.

Three state veteran’s nursing homes have also joined CORHIO under the grant program: Bruce McCandless Colorado State Veterans Nursing Home in Florence, Colorado State Veterans Center at Homelake in Monte Vista, and Colorado State Veterans Home at Fitzsimons in Aurora. These organizations provide nursing home assistance, assisted living, rehabilitation, and other services to Colorado military veterans.

Schryver Medical, a laboratory and medical services provider specializing in the long-term care market, has also joined CORHIO under the grant program. Many of the LTPAC providers using the health information exchange rely on Schryver for laboratory and imaging results, so this will be an important connection once the technical work is complete.

Next Step - Analysis of Hospital Readmissions and HIE Usage

The HIE Challenge Grant program has now moved into the analysis phase, where usage and benefits are being explored. As part of their obligations to the program, participating organizations will share their experiences using HIE to improve care transitions and reduce hospital readmissions via surveys, community advisory groups, care transitions projects, and assessments.

“We are so thrilled about the success of this grant program and the 119 long-term and post-acute care facilities that have joined the CORHIO HIE network,” says Pamela Russell, Development and Outreach Manager of Long-Term Care at CORHIO. “These organizations are so vital in the continuum of care and now they have quicker access to patient clinical data to better coordinate care.”

To view the video “Improving Transitions of Care With Health Information Exchange” and to learn more about CORHIO, please visit our Long-Term Care page.