Community Health Center Information Systems Assessment: Issues and Opportunities. Final Report. 2. Health Choice Network Overview

10/30/2005

Health Choice Network (HCN) is a community-based, not for profit 501(c)(3) organization representing a group of BPHC supported (330) community health centers and other health care providers and organizations in South and Central Florida, plus affiliated centers in Utah and New Mexico. Although HCN shares some characteristics with other health center networks investigated as part of this study, it represents a distinctly comprehensive approach to network functionality and operations.

Under other models health center networks serve as an application services provider for targeted applications or, in less centralized models, networks collect and manage data derived from applications administered by individual health centers. By contrast, HCN comprehensively administers all of their health centers’ computing. HCN provides, supports and administers a full set of clinical and administrative IS applications, centralized billing, centralized accounting and general productivity software. In addition, HCN plays a substantial leadership role for its member health centers, with a network Senior Vice President serving both Chief Information Officer (CIO) and Chief Financial Officer (CFO) for several health center members of the network. 

Understanding that its member centers were in many different situations in terms of needs and funds, HCN has a tiered membership system in place. All Network ‘Affiliated Members’ participate in the centralized IT and Fiscal services and may elect to participate in other integrated functions such as centralized billing, , managed care, and program development. ’Network level only’ Members may contract for some of the affiliated services (e.g. IT), and also may participate in group purchasing and other network activities, and are represented on the Board. There are also the NM and Utah networks, each of which have a service contract with HCN for provision of IS services.

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