Pennsylvania aids providers to boost health info exchange

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A grant of $8.1 million from the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is enabling the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services to distribute funds to help hospitals and ambulatory practices connect to the state’s health information exchange, called Pennsylvania Patient & Provider Network, or P3N.

The program will support information exchange of data for Medicaid patients through health information organizations (HIO), and the application period now is open. “These grants will assist providers in the efficient delivery of quality services to the individuals we serve across the commonwealth,” says DHS Secretary Ted Dallas. “As more providers participate, individuals will experience better coordination of care and a better quality of care.”

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HIOs will receive the funds to enable connectivity between inpatient hospitals, other inpatient facilities, physician practices and other outpatient facilities. Each eligible inpatient hospital or facility can receive as much as $75,000 to link to an HIO; eligible outpatient organizations can get as much as $35,000; and other providers that want to connect to an HIO via a portal can get as much as $5,000.

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By defraying upfront HIE costs, the grants are intended to increase coordination of care for Medicaid patients, offset connection costs to make data exchange more affordable, incentivize HIOs to participate, support healthcare reform initiatives and aid individual providers in achieving electronic health records meaningful use requirements, according to the department.

More information is available here.

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