Opportunities for Engaging Long-Term and Post-Acute Care Providers in Health Information Exchange Activities: Exchanging Interoperable Patient Assessment Information. Engage LTPAC Providers

12/01/2011

As the NGA observed in their issue brief, "many LTC facilities already use technology in their care settings, but connecting with broader state HIE efforts is just beginning."45 The lack of availability, adoption and use of interoperable EHRs by the LTPAC providers is a critical barrier. The stakeholder experts interviewed as part of this study believe HITECH and the ACA will alter market pressures and eventually force LTPAC providers to adopt EHRs and HIT, albeit at a slower rate than had incentives been made available to these providers (Appendix A: Stakeholder Interview Summary). At this time, LTPAC providers have limited awareness of ongoing HIT activities and the anticipated increase in HIE demands. This lack of understanding could threaten quality and continuity of care improvements envisioned in health care reform and ultimately the viability of the LTPAC provider in the new emerging health care delivery systems.

CMS recognizes the need to support LTPAC providers in the adoption and use HIT. Towards this end, CMS is planning a special project as part of its 10th scope of work for the quality improvement organization program. The special project will seek to support the use of HIT by health care providers that are ineligible for EHR incentive payments. The project will support and encourage the meaningful use of HIT to improve quality and continuity of care.

In addition, the LTPAC HIT Collaborative46 and its member organizations are considering and/or pursuing several activities to address some of the challenges the LTPAC sector is experiencing. The Collaborative is:

  • Engaging provider, professional, and vendor associations that serve the LTPAC community to prioritize interoperable HIT and HIE for their members through several activities including:

    • Development and implementation of strategic initiatives that focus on participation in national, state and local HIT/HIE activities; and
    • Delivery of educational efforts that focus on EHR use and the imperative for engaging in HIE.
  • Connecting with policymakers (federal and state) to align the HIT and HIE priorities including advancing the:

    • Use of certified EHRs for and by LTPAC providers; and
    • Interoperable HIE on behalf of persons who receive LTPAC services.
  • Publishing an updated LTPAC Health IT Roadmap for 2012-2014 that promotes the use of HIT/EHRs and participation in HIE activities to support quality, continuity and coordination of care. The Collaborative will advance the new Roadmap and priorities at the 2012 annual LTPAC HIT Summit. The updated Roadmap will:

    • Align priorities and activities in the ONC 2011-2015 Federal Health IT Strategic Plan;
    • Advance the readiness of the LTPAC sector in using technology to support health care reform goals; and
    • Serve to inform public and private sector entities engaged in health care reform activities about how technology can be used to support the inclusion of LTPAC in service delivery system changes and quality improvement activities.

 

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