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April 2011

From the Executive Director

McCrary_Laura_webLaura McCrary

The Kansas Health Information Network (KHIN) team continues to meet with eligible providers and hospitals across the state. Meetings were held this month with Pratt Regional Medical Center, Great Plains Health Alliance, Great Bend Regional Hospital, Coffeyville Regional Hospital, Neosho Memorial Regional Hospital, Sunflower Health Network, Kansas Association of Osteopathic Medicine and the Kansas Association of Optometrists.

The Rural Health Information Network (RHIN) was also formed this month (see related article below). The RHIN provides a venue for rural health care providers to participate in the development and decision making associated with health information exchange in rural areas. KHIN staff also worked to provide a viable option for eligible providers to securely exchange health information using either secure clinical messaging or a Direct product (see article on attestation).

Last month the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology issued the Federal Health Information Technology Strategic Plan 2011-2015 for public comment. The document is designed to answer questions with respect to health IT and its role in promoting health and health care reform. It also charts new ground for the national health IT agenda which is consistent with the work the Kansas Health Information Network has undertaken.

  • It focuses on fostering exchange efforts that are already happening today, supporting exchange where it is not happening and creating means for exchange between local initiatives.
  • It recognizes the importance of engaging and empowering individuals with electronic health information in order to move to patient centered care.

  • It outlines a path for building a "learning health system" through informing provider's decisions, helping individuals better manage their health and providing information to communities to improve care coordination and improve population health.

In Kansas the Kansas Health Information Exchange, Inc. at the March 9th Board meeting voted to primarily function as a regulatory and oversight Board for health information exchange organizations that are functioning in Kansas. Its responsibilities will focus on ensuring that health information exchanges that share data meet specific accountability requirements in areas such as privacy and security, secondary data use and public health reporting.

If you would like the KHIN team to visit your community or health system please contact Tiffanie Hickman at thickman@khinonline.org to schedule a visit.

Great Bend Regional Hospital first to sign with KHIN


Marshall_RogerRoger Marshall, MDOn March 16, Great Bend Regional Hospital became the first health care organization in Kansas to sign a KHIN participation agreement and fully commit to sharing health care data throughout their community and across the state.  Great Bend Regional Hospital is a physician owned hospital that was built to expand the healthcare options of Great Bend and the surrounding communities.  Health information exchange is one of many innovative methods that Roger Marshall, MD and the medical team at Great Bend Regional have utilized in establishing a hospital environment where 95 percent of the patients rate the hospital as excellent and would refer it to others.

Dr. Marshall noted in opening comments to regional health care leaders in Great Bend, “health care technology and health information exchange will power the health care of the future.  It has the potential to achieve improvements in care, reduce health care costs and improve knowledge about health care across populations.”  

KHIN forms Rural Health Information Network

Typing_hands_stethoscopeRural hospitals and physician clinics can now come together as early participants in the state’s emerging health information exchange efforts. In forming the Rural Health Information Network, the Kansas Health Information Network (KHIN) is developing a structure through which interested rural providers can convene to share experiences, reduce duplicative work and facilitate health information exchange around their unique needs. The Rural Health Information Network will provide a venue for rural providers to come together in a forum that represents the vision and needs of rural communities and providers in the establishment of health information exchange.

The goal of KHIN is to provide access to a provider led HIE for all hospitals and physicians in Kansas. Until very recently, the early HIE development efforts in Kansas were mostly centered in the state’s two largest cities. HIE development efforts in Kansas City (eHealthAlign) and Wichita (WHIE) have been underway for the past couple of years, and both are using the KHIN technology platform. The development of the Rural Health Information Network within KHIN as a virtual “community” of independent rural, but collaborative, providers, will ensure a strong voice for the unique needs of rural health care providers in the implementation of health information exchange. The rural health information network will also facilitate the flow of information necessary to support the referral process.

KHIN is a collaboration of organizations led by the Kansas Medical Society, the Kansas Hospital Association, the Wichita Health Information Exchange, and eHealthAlign, to facilitate improvement in health care quality, coordination and efficiency through the exchange of health information at the point of care utilizing a secure electronic network. For more information about the rural health information network that is forming, contact Laura McCrary, KHIN executive director, at lmccrary@khinonline.org, or 785.861.7490.

Attesting for Medicare incentive payments

EHRIncentiveLogowebPlease contact the Kansas Health Information Network (KHIN) at if you are planning to attest for Medicare incentive payments in 2011.  KHIN can help you ensure that you can meet the requirement to share clinical information with an unaffiliated provider or organization.  Eligible providers (EPs) include non-hospital based MD/DO, Dentists, Podiatrists, Optometrists and Chiropractors who have:

  1. implemented a certified electronic health record that can produce a CCD/CCR (Continuity of Care Document/Record)

  2. become a “meaningful user” of their EHR including sharing data with an unaffiliated provider

  3. generated Medicare payments (Medicare payments are capped at 75% of allowable Medicare charges. As such to receive the full $18,000 at least $24,000 of Medicare payments must have been made $24,000* 75% = $18,000).

Most eligible providers are finding items #1 and #3 listed above easy to understand.   However, #2 is much more complex and requires the capability to conduct one test of certified EHR technology’s capacity to electronically exchange key clinical information during the EHR reporting period.  There are several options available for sharing data across organizations and KHIN staff and the Regional Extension Center staff (recsupport@kfmc.org) are available to talk with you and/or your practice manager at your convenience to determine what will be necessary for you or your practice to attest in 2011.  

eHealthAlign names first President/CEO

Brophy_James

James M. Brophy has been appointed to serve as the first president and CEO of eHealthAlign, the not-for-profit health information exchange for the Kansas City region. The vision of eHealthAlign is to significantly improve the quality, patient safety and cost efficiency of health care in the Kansas City region.  Brophy is an experienced health care executive who served as CEO of Saint Luke’s Hospital of Kansas City and Saint Luke’s Northland Hospital.  Jim also served as senior vice president of Truman Medical Centers.

“Providing accurate and timely information through an electronic health record will enable both providers and patients to make better informed decisions,” said Brophy. In addition to serving as the region’s health information exchange, eHealthAlign can serve as a forum for collaboration and care coordination among health care stakeholders, including patients, hospitals, physicians, safety-net clinics, public health departments, long-term care facilities and other health care providers.

eHealthAlign serves the entire Kansas City region including 12 counties in Missouri and 13 counties in Kansas. eHealthAlign has received generous support from many philanthropic institutions, including the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City, Hall Family Foundation, REACH Healthcare Foundation, John W. and Effie E. Speas Memorial Trust (Bank of America, Trustee)  and many others.

 

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