Rhode Island pushes data exchange

September 5, 2013 in Medical Technology

The Rhode Island Quality Institute and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Rhode Island recently announced the launch of an incentive program for Rhode Island primary care physicians to adopt and use CurrentCare, Rhode Island’s health information exchange. The program is designed to reward PCPs who are advancing health information technology and health information exchange in Rhode Island.

“By creating financial incentives for providers who adopt CurrentCare, the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Rhode Island Incentive Program encourages improved patient care across the state,” said Jonathan Leviss, MD, chief medical officer at Rhode Island Quality Institute, in a news release.

[See also: HHS makes plans to speed data exchange.]

Providers who use CurrentCare are able to see enrolled patients’ protected health information through a secure electronic network. By increasing access to information such as hospitalizations, lab results, allergies and prescribed medications, providers can improve their patients’ safety and coordination of care. CurrentCare is billed as the first health information exchange in the nation to produce patient hospital encounter notices statewide that alert PCPs of when their patients are admitted to or discharged from the hospital.

“CurrentCare has tremendous advantages for both patients and providers that make care more coordinated, safe and patient-centered,” said Gus Manocchia, MD, chief medical officer for BCBSRI, in a news release. “Encouraging the use of CurrentCare is aligned with our efforts to lower costs and improve the overall quality of healthcare services in our state.”

[See also: Missouri opens data exchange ‘freeway’.]

Under the incentive program, eligible providers – those in family practice, pediatrics or internal medicine who are in compliance with BCBSRI’s EHR payment policy – may receive up to $10,000 in incentives per practice related to three key areas:

  • CurrentCare enrollment – To qualify for incentives, PCP practices must enroll the greater of the following: at least 200 patients per affiliated PCP or enroll a number of patients equivalent to at least 50 percent of their BCBSRI members.
  • Use of the CurrentCare Viewer and Hospital Alerts – PCP practices can qualify for additional incentive if at least 75 percent of their staff is trained on the online portal known as CurrentCare Viewer and the practice enables CurrentCare Hospital Alerts.
  • Implementation of a Direct messaging account – This allows for secure electronic communication between providers who use different electronic medical record systems.
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