The Taconic Health Information Network and Community, a health information exchange serving the Hudson Valley region of New York, will expand its services to mental health patients.

THiNC has received an $8.7 million grant from the New York state government to develop services that support treatment of mental health conditions through the medical home model. The funds come from the state's HEAL NY law that has funneled hundreds of millions of dollars to local organizations to improve the efficiency and affordability of care, including the use of information technologies.

Under the medical home model, primary care practices are designated patients' "medical home" to coordinate the continuum of care. The practices are redesigned to be more functional and workflow-friendly, and new processes are developed to focus on quality, safety and alternative reimbursement methods. The care model also calls for extensive use of health information technologies, including electronic health records, e-prescribing, clinical decision support, secure messaging and Web portal software.

Six primary care practices, including three large community health centers, will participate in the THiNC initiative.  About 8,500 patients in five counties will take part, along with 120 primary care providers, 36 psychiatrists and 174 psychologists. More information is available at thinc.org.

--Joseph Goedert

 

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