FSSA Awards $2.3M to Purdue Program

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Purdue University has landed a $2.3 million grant involving electronic health records. The funding will support efforts by Purdue Healthcare Advisors to assist Medicaid-eligible providers in the state. October 8, 2014

News Release

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The Indiana Family of Social Services Administration (FSSA) has awarded Purdue Healthcare Advisors at Purdue University a $2.3 million grant to continue its work in guiding Medicaid-eligible, Indiana health care providers toward the Meaningful Use (MU) standards associated with electronic health records (EHR) systems.

Providers eligible to benefit from this assistance practice in small groups/independent practices; Federally Qualified Health Clinics (FQHCs); Community Health Clinics (CHCs); and Rural Health Clinics (RHCs), and must be eligible for Medicaid Meaningful Use incentives.

"Through a combination of remote and on-site services, the grant allows Purdue Healthcare Advisors to guide ambulatory organizations that have not yet attested to Stage 1 MU as well as organizations eligible for Stage 2 incentives in 2014 or 2015," said Carenza Love, FSSA Health IT coordinator.

Purdue Healthcare Advisors (PHA), managed by the university's Technical Assistance Program, has been working with health care providers throughout the state on EHR Meaningful Use since February 2010, when its Purdue Regional Extension Center (PurdueREC) division was awarded a $14 million federal grant from Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) legislation passed a year earlier. In addition to grant-eligible primary health care providers and critical access hospitals, PHA has provided Meaningful Use service support for hundreds of other providers and numerous acute care hospitals on a fee-for-service basis.

As a provider assisted by PHA under the federal HITECH grant, Dr. Paul Wolfe, of Marion Pediatrics in Marion, Indiana, said "Meeting Meaningful Use standards involves substantially more than installing EHR software. The guidance we received from Purdue was critical in making the correct workflow changes, and implementing the appropriate IT security measures to meet Stage 1 MU. And with the increased difficulty of meeting Stage 2, we will continue to need their expert help."

With this grant funding from FSSA, PHA will educate providers on Stage 2 MU; work with providers to ascertain barriers to MU adoption; and gather feedback on provider satisfaction regarding the state incentive process.

"The Meaningful Use effort is all about enhancing patient care by using EHRs to do important things like engage patients in their own care through patient portals, provide safety checks for meds and allergies, and find gaps in care to keep patients healthy," said PHA Director Randy Hountz. "Our team is proud to be a part of this effort."

Hountz said PHA will create individualized plans for each practice and hospital based on their specific challenges, and these plans will allow their providers to successfully attest to Meaningful Use of their EHR.

Once they attest, providers receive incentive payments through the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Payment Incentive Program. These incentives are designed to offset the costs associated with EHR adoption and its meaningful implementation and usage.

"The state is investing in Indiana's health care information infrastructure to improve patient care and needs to better understand why some physicians and clinics are having trouble meeting EHR Meaningful Use standards," Love said. "Are workflow problems creating barriers to the productive use of their EHR? Is the incentive payment process difficult to follow? Are there other emerging concerns?"

As part of the grant contract, PHA will interview and survey providers and hospitals to attempt to answer these questions.

ABOUT FSSA

The Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA) is a is a health care and social service funding agency that was established by the Indiana General Assembly in 1991 to consolidate and better integrate the delivery of human services by State government. Ninety-four percent of the agency's total budget is paid to thousands of service providers ranging from major medical centers to a physical therapist working with a child or adult with a developmental disability. The five care divisions in FSSA administer services to more than one million Hoosiers.

ABOUT PURDUE HEALTHCARE ADVISORS

Purdue Healthcare Advisors (PHA) was established in 2005 by the Purdue University Technical Assistance Program, the Regenstrief Center for Healthcare Engineering, and the Indiana Hospital Association to improve health care quality, safety and efficiency by applying the principles of engineering, management, and science.

Source: Purdue Healthcare Advisors