The statewide Florida Health Information Exchange is in the early stages of offering transition of care notification to patients health insurers and primary care physicians.
The HIE and the Florida Agency for Healthcare Administration spent much of 2013 developing the Event Notification Service (ENS) with core HIE vendor Harris Government Health Care Solutions and Audacious Inquiry, which built the ENS engine that puts notifications together and sends them through the HIE.
Federal HITECH Act funding for the HIE runs out by July 2014; ENS was built as part of a sustainability plan that includes providers and insurers paying fees for HIE services. However, only insurers pay for the new notification alerts. Insurers send member panels (list of members) to the HIE, which inputs the lists into the ENS engine to match patients in transition with their insurer and send the insurer notification.
Care transition notifications are sent to payers and primary care providers via Direct secure messaging. The ENS program costs insurers an annual fee of $75,000 for per member panel of 50,000 members or less, and an annual $25,000 for each additional member panel of up to 100,000 members.
The program started with one Broward Health hospital and the Medicaid insurer WellCare Health pilot testing in late 2014. They are the only users since ENS went live in January. More Broward hospitals will be joining and other payers are showing interest, said Heidi Fox, Florida HIE project director, during a HIMSS14 presentation. Despite hospitals paying no fee for the notifications, they have been a hard sell for a simple reason, Fox said: Right now, hospitals seem to be real busy.
But Fox believes hospitals will value the role that transition notifications can play in improving care coordination and population health management, and outreach to hospitals continues. Enabling hospitals to get their network physicians on the program to receive transition notifications also could prod higher participation, she added.
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