Early Success Seen by Local Hospitals with Accountable Care Entities to Benefit
CHICAGO, IL, April 28, 2014 – The Metropolitan Chicago Healthcare Council (MCHC) today announced the establishment of connectivity between the MetroChicago Health Information Exchange and three downstate regional health information exchanges (HIEs) aimed at improving health care quality and reducing health care costs throughout the state of Illinois.
Participating in the digital information exchange along with MetroChicago HIE are Lincoln Land HIE (LLHIE), Illinois Health Exchange Partners (ILHEP) and Central Illinois Health Information Exchange (CIHIE). The four HIEs’ respective operating areas represent 92 percent of Illinois’ population and more than $29.5 billion in net patient revenues. They include 63 hospitals and the ability to reach over 18,000 physicians.
Following this agreement, participating providers throughout the state of Illinois will be able to quickly access more accurate, comprehensive medical patient information through the use of the Direct secure digital messaging feature provided by each of the four HIEs.
“By collaborating with LLHIE, ILHEP and CIHIE, we have taken another step toward the ultimate goal of achieving better patient outcomes in the Chicagoland area,” said Kevin Scanlan, President and CEO of MCHC. “Patients from all over the state visit Chicago providers and vice versa, for both routine and critical care. Now, these providers will have access to a wealth of information, giving them a clearer understanding of each patient’s unique situation and allowing them to deliver the highest quality of care.”
Norwegian American Hospital is the first Chicago-area hospital to take the additional step of integrating MetroChicago HIE’s Direct secure messaging feature within its Electronic Health Record (EHR) system.
- “The integration of MetroChicago HIE’s secure messaging feature within our EHR system enables us to meet a key requirement in our Meaningful Use attestation,” said Mariusz Mazek, Chief Information Officer for Norwegian American Hospital. “The MetroChicago HIE team and its technology partner Sandlot Solutions demonstrated great commitment to customer service and expertise in systems integration, meeting our needs on a timeline that worked for us.”
- Accountable Care Entities (ACEs) — called such because they are accountable for quality, efficiency and appropriateness of health care provided to Illinois’ Medicaid population —particularly benefit from these exchanges. All four exchanges will service health care providers that are members of ACEs. With more accurate patient information available, ACEs will see fewer duplicated or unnecessary tests and procedures, cutting costs for those providers who are financially responsible for Illinois Medicaid patients.
Sharing this quantity of data also drives more patient-centered care, enhanced outcomes, improved efficiency and lower costs for all patients and providers in the Chicago area. The exchange may serve as a model for other states seeking to adopt HIE initiatives in order to comply with health care reform mandates.
In order to protect privacy rights of patients included in the program, any patient information exchanged among entities must and does comply with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. Patients have the ability to opt out of the exchange if they so choose.
- The Metropolitan Chicago Healthcare Council is a membership and service association comprising more than 170 hospitals and health care organizations working together, since 1935, to improve the delivery of health care services in the greater metropolitan Chicago area. For more information, visit www.mchc.org.