Maryland HIE lauded by state officials

March 22, 2013 in Medical Technology

As many statewide health information exchanges have revised the scope of their work, Maryland’s Chesapeake Regional Information System for Our Patients, or CRISP, has forged ahead as both a primary HIE and a supporter of IT adoption for providers around the state.

In a recent ONC blog post, Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley solidified his administration’s support for the federal-state partnership that has enabled 37 of the state’s 47 hospitals to receive meaningful use payments.

Last year, Maryland became the first state to connect all acute care hospitals in real-time through the CRISP HIE, and the state was also the first to require private payers to provide incentives to physicians for EHR adoption, with up to $7,500 available per physician practice per year.

[See also: Delaware, Kansas HIEs exchange Direct.]

A not-for-profit membership corporation formally designated as the statewide HIE by the Maryland Health Care Commission, CRISP has also served as Maryland’s Regional Extension Center, aiming to help 1,000 primary care providers achieve meaningful use by 2014.

The HIE got up and running in 2010, starting with three hospitals, three radiology centers, Quest Diagnostics and the Laboratory Corporation of America, and was funded with a blend of state and federal dollars totalling close to $20 million.

In 2013, O’Malley said, CRISP is focusing on growing the HIE’s base and making its experience more user-friendly, for both physicians and nurses. The HIE is going to be integrated with the state’s prescription drug monitoring program, set to launch this year, and its readmission data will be guiding quality-based reimbursement.

In a partnership with public health departments, the HIE will also serve as a common platform for mapping preventable ER visits and admissions, following the success of a similar program in the city of Camden, New Jersey.

“This will allow greater focus on prevention and wellness in communities across the state,” O’Malley wrote, “allowing us to measure the returns on our investments in electronic infrastructure with the right metric — the health of Marylanders.”

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