INDIANAPOLIS - The state of Indiana is working with Purdue University to develop and implement technology systems to battle clinical challenges throughout the state, including long-term care and the opioid crisis. The Indiana Family and Social Services Administration has announced a two-year, $12 million contract with Purdue's Regenstrief Center for Healthcare Engineering. As part of the deal, the center will identify four high-need communities: two to implement programs to improve Medicaid long-term care and two to work on community coordination of opioid addiction treatment.

The funding comes through the FSSA from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' 90/10 matching grant program. The Regenstrief Center and the FSSA have worked together for the past several years to provide hundreds of providers with reporting and health IT security services. That program helps providers use electronic health records systems and complete security risk assessments.

Regenstrief Center Director Paul Griffin says his team will spend the next month looking for communities to work with on the efforts. He says he wants to find a mix of rural and urban high-need communities so the systems can be replicated throughout the state. Recruitment for communities looking to participate is underway.

The contract calls on the Purdue center to address concerns in long-term care and opioid addiction prevention and treatment that contribute to sub-optimal care and higher costs. Purdue says it will use the funding to design new care models, systems and process improvements to boost patient education, medication management, clinical support and more.

Essentially, says Griffin, the systems will help providers in the communities ensure "the right hand knows what the left is doing."

"A community that understands the big picture," says Griffin, "has the ability to see moving parts in real time, and can predict pitfalls will be more successful in tackling problems that prevent effective patient care.”

Medicaid long-term care efforts will focus on areas including electronic health record use and medication management that happens when patients transfer from hospitals to long-term care. The opioid programs will center on reducing opioid prescriptions, boosting the state's prescription monitoring system and increasing referrals and treatment to addiction services.