Author Archives: HITC Editor

Over the next six months, Healthcare IT Connect will host the 2021 State HIT Connect ‘Virtual Webinar Mini-Series’, providing a collaborative opportunity for public and private stakeholders to address the core themes, topics from the in-person conference during this public health crisis period.
On the first or second Thursday of every month (see the calendar below), we will host a one day ‘State HIT Connect Virtual-Conference’, containing a track plenary topic (aligned to each of the 6 conference tracks), an ‘Interoperability Day Webinar’ and a ‘Group Collaboration/ Pre-recorded Presentation’ topic both aligned to the same theme.

Additional sponsored webinars are also scheduled, mid-cycle between the monthly cadence of the mini-series. There will, of course, be a major focus throughout the series addressing State HIT strategies in response to the COVID-19 crisis, which is currently the #1 priority for states.

Register to view webinars and FULL details learn more here for the Tuesday, January 19th 2021 webinars.

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The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated digital transformation and interoperability in healthcare. Connecting systems will drive new levels of insight, facilitate new business models and, ultimately, transform the experience for consumers and care teams.

Join IBM for lessons learned from transformation during this period of disruption. IBM – recently named “the most innovative healthcare interoperability company” by Frost & Sullivan – helps health and social services organizations extend beyond the CMS interoperability mandate and apply analytics for Medicaid, cross-program, and COVID-19 response, including vaccine distribution.

Register to view the webinar presentation and FULL details learn more here for the IBM , Tuesday, January 19th, 2021 webinar.

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Operationalizing AI at speed and scale for COVID and Beyond

Dr. Suman De – Head of Government Healthcare Analytics, Infosys Public Services
Idris Motiwala – Principal Product Manager, Couchbase
Dr. Daniel Parton – Lead Data Scientist, Bardess Group, Advisor, Tangent Works

Public sector organizations are turning towards artificial intelligence (AI)/machine learning (ML) models to make more informed decisions across areas like re-opening offices and servicing citizens. However, they are struggling to build and operationalize these models quickly. Various studies have found that organizations take months to develop machine learning models and that most of these models (~95%) never making it through the very complex and time-consuming process.

Already constrained for data-science resources, how can public sector organizations build, train and deploy effective machine learning models, across program areas, quickly and arm policymakers with timely insights in an environment where real-world data is changing rapidly?

An automated data science approach can address these challenges and enable public sector organizations to operationalize AI/ML at speed and scale. From democratizing data science skillsets (i.e. making it easier for anyone to build ML models) to accelerating the model deployment lifecycle, this approach can help public sector organizations effectively use AI to improve program outcomes and improve citizen experience.

To learn more, join our panel featuring subject matter experts and public officials who will discuss:

1. The challenges in operationalizing AI/ML and how to address them with an automated data science approach
2. How to accelerate the AI/ML development cycle – from identification and ingestion of data to model deployment, and automate time-consuming processes like data analysis, feature engineering etc.
3. How to build new and repeatable AI/Machine Learning models within minutes to support different program areas like COVID-19 management and return to work
4. How to scale AI/ML capabilities to enable faster decision making in the COVID era and beyond

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LIVE PLENARY WEBINAR | Thursday, October 8th | 3:00-4:00 EDT
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Patient Access: Using HL7® Da Vinci Project Resources to Advance Interoperability, Reduce Burden and Support Patient Access API

- Lenel James, Business Lead for Health Information Exchange & Innovation, Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association

The HL7® Da Vinci Project engages more than 50 industry-leading providers, payers, and partners to work together to accelerate the adoption of HL7 FHIR® (Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resources) as the standard to support and integrate value-based care (VBC) data exchange. Lenel James at Blue Cross Blue Shield Association will highlight the progress, real-world uses and lessons learned from the Da Vinci Project. He will also review how the project’s work and available resources, including implementation guides, will help organizations meet the goals of the Patient Access API rules by the Jan. 1, 2021 federal deadline.

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LIVE PLENARY WEBINAR | Thursday, October 8th | 12:00-1:00 EDT
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Transitioning to a State-Based Health Insurance Marketplace During a Pandemic

- Brantley Scott, MS, Data Quality Project Manager, Office of Health Care Statistics (OHCS), Utah
- Nick Faulkner, PMP, Project Manager and Technical Consultant Comagine Health
- Sara Hallvik, Senior Director of Analytic Services Comagine Health
- Emilie Sites, MPH, Comagine Health

Simply having access to a large administrative dataset, like an all-payer claims database (APCD), is not enough to provide actionable insights and solutions to real-world problems. Meaningful stakeholder input at all stages, a deep connection to the communities who stand to benefit from data-driven insights, appropriate deployment of advanced analytics, and an iterative approach are critical.

We will interview at least one state partner about their experience converting complicated information into understandable visualizations and address the public’s need for meaningful information.

As the host of the voluntary APCD in Oregon, covering 80% of Oregonians, our team will also share how we have turned the APCD into action to help solve real-world problems and improve transparency. We will be walking through our steps to successfully build data solutions for key use cases through extensive stakeholder discussions, iterative development, and focusing on data quality. Our team will share our practical but effective process through real examples, including total cost of care reporting and CPC+ convening and aggregation and analysis.

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Register for the September 17th, Virtual Mini-Series, hosted at the State HIT Connect Virtual Mini-Series Portal!

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Presentation Title: Plenary: Getting a Grip on Income & Employment Verification in a Time of Pandemic

Leesa Allen, Deputy Managing Director, Sellers Dorsey

Joel Hardi, Product Manager, Government, Equifax, Inc.

In 2020, the coronavirus pandemic has upended the lives of many Americans, disrupting employment and health insurance coverage for tens of millions. State agencies administering Medicaid, along with other lifeline programs such as SNAP, have seen overwhelming volumes of new applications, while CMS has approved hundreds of State Plan Amendments and Section 1135 waivers.

As a provider of CMS’ current income and employment service and data provider to most states, Equifax has a unique window into labor markets, unemployment claims, and how states are responding to the pandemic. Our customers tell us that during a time of unprecedented churn in employment, instant access to payroll records from more than one million employers, representing more than half of the U.S. non-farm payroll, is more valuable than ever.

In this webinar, you will learn:

  • The latest trends in state labor markets and employment, and impact on Medicaid-eligible populations
  • Strategies for streamlining eligibility verification, including reducing administrative burden, containing data costs
  • How peer organizations are verifying income and employment to improve program integrity and reduce overpayments
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State health IT leaders on their path to the interoperability deadline

A deadline is fast approaching. No one knows that better than Vishal Chaudhry and Amy Zimmerman.

Chaudhry is Chief Data Officer, Clinical Quality and Care Transformation for the Washington State Healthcare Authority. Zimmerman is State HIT Coordinator for Rhode Island’s Executive Office of Health and Human Services.

They’re each playing important roles in their states’ implementation of the Fast Healthcare Interoperability Resource (FHIR) standard – key to meeting the requirements of CMS’ new interoperability rule.

The first of those requirements are set to take effect January 1, 2021.

Chaudhry and Zimmerman recently shared their insights into the process during a Healthcare IT Connect webinar hosted by Optum Vice President and Senior Client Executive Diane Evenson.

For Zimmerman’s team in Rhode Island, it began with creating what she says is her state’s first ever strategic health IT roadmap.

“We did a lot of stakeholder assessments and feedback and input,” she explained. “And then we did a gap analysis.”

In Washington State, Chaudhry’s team is working with payers and other stakeholders to make sure they don’t end up with a multitude of solutions that aren’t compatible.

They’re also focused on understanding the requirements as they relate to Medicaid data and making that data accessible in time to meet CMS’ deadline.

“The ramp-up is really steep,” said Chaudhry. “We didn’t have enough time to do it all before COVID hit.”

While the pandemic may have slowed progress on implementation, it has accelerated the understanding of FHIR’s value. Chaudhary and Zimmerman explain in this video: Potential benefits of FHIR revealed by COVID-19

The path forward

Both Chaudhry and Zimmerman stressed collaboration as a driving force for their implementation plans. Working together with other governmental agencies as well as private entities to establish governance early on is key.

It’s a work in progress.

“I think there’s a lot of education that still needs to happen across the state,” explained Zimmerman. “I think the large hospital systems and those folks that have a lot of IT support staff and the payers are aware of this. But I’m not sure how much the small and medium-size practices, of which we have a lot in Rhode Island, are aware.”

For Chaudhry, there’s an added challenge. Each of Washington’s 39 counties has its own health department tasked with meeting the new standards. He’s tasked with making sure they’re working toward the right goal.

“There’s a difference between standardization and uniformity,” explained Chaudhry. “We’re not trying to achieve uniformity. We’re trying to achieve standardization here so that we can create predictability in the way we work through these challenges and issues and opportunities that may come along.”

A key part of Washington’s strategy is moving away from large data repositories and toward more modular data storage systems. Chaudhry explains in the video below.

For those working in health IT at states, this is an incredibly busy time.

Just when they were making progress on major systemic adjustments to meet a new interoperability standard, they were hit with a pandemic that only added demand for their services.

There’s a little good news on that front. While the interoperability rule takes effect January 1, 2021, CMS recently announced it won’t enforce it until July 1, 2021 – a six-month reprieve.

To view the complete webinar featuring Amy Zimmerman and Vishal Chaudhry sharing their insights (A Brave New World: Data Standardization), click here.

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Register for the Thursday, September 3rd, Interoperability Insights: State Medicaid Director’s Letter: Compliance, Implementing CMS’ ‘Interoperability and Patient Access Final Rule’, hosted at the State HIT Connect Virtual Mini-Series Portal!

3.00 – 4.00 PM EDT | Thursday, September 3rd,
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Presentation Title: Interoperability Insights: State Medicaid Director’s Letter: Compliance, Implementing CMS’ ‘Interoperability and Patient Access Final Rule’

HITC Editor

Ryan Howells, Principal, Leavitt Partners
Thomas Novak, Medicaid Interoperability Lead, Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT
Denise St. Clair, Health Informatics and Interoperability Group (HIIG), Office of Burden Reduction and Health Informatics (OBRHI), CMS

Presentation Overview

The August 14th, 2020 State Medicaid Director’s Letter describes how state Medicaid agencies, Medicaid managed care plans, CHIP agencies, and CHIP managed care entities should implement the final rule in a manner consistent with the Interoperability Rule as part of the ’21st Century Cures Act’.

Join representatives from ONC, CMS who will discuss how state Medicaid agencies, Medicaid managed care plans, CHIP agencies, CHIP managed care entities should implement this final rule in a manner consistent with existing guidance. State presenters will discuss existing research, strategic planning undertaken to meet with compliance deadlines (as below).

  • Implement and maintain a standards-based Patient Access API, Compliance Deadline: January 1, 2021
  • Payer-to-Payer Data Exchange – Coordinate care between payers by exchanging, at a minimum, the information contained in the USCDI (the United States Core Data for Interoperability). Compliance deadline: January 1, 2021
  • Make standardized information about provider networks available via a FHIR based Provider Directory API. Compliance deadline: January 1, 2021
  • Improving the Dual-Eligible Experience. Compliance deadline: April 1, 2022

View Session Details Here.

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Register for the Thursday, September 3rd, Virtual Mini-Series, Aligned to Track 3: Security, Compliance, Combatting Fraud, Waste & Abuse, hosted at the State HIT Connect Virtual Mini-Series Portal!

12.00 – 1.00 PM EDT | September 3rd
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Presentation Title: Plenary: Leveraging Public-Private Partnership, Data Sharing for Program Integrity in the Age of COVID-19

Brad Hart, Deputy Director, Center for Program Integrity (CPI), CMS
Gary Cantrell, Deputy Inspector General for Investigations, OIG, DHHS
Mateo Hernandez, Assistant Chief, Medical Review Branch, Audits and Investigations, California Department of Healthcare Services
Lloyd Early, Special Agent-In-Charge, Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, Ohio Attorney General’s Office
View Session Details Here

1.30 – 2.30 PM EDT | September 3rd
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Presentation Title: Industry Insights: Technology and Analytics-Driven Approaches to Combat Fraud, Waste, Abuse
Presenters: Jessica Kahn, Partner, McKinsey
Bob Mays, Staff Vice President, Special Investigations Unit, Anthem
Christine Hajzak, Staff VP Program Integrity, Government Business Division at Anthem
View Session Details Here

3.00 – 4.00 PM EDT | September 3rd
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Presentation Title: Interoperability Insights: State Compliance, Implementing the ‘CMS Interoperability and Patient Access final rule
Presenters: Tom Novak, Medicaid Interoperability Lead, Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT
Denise St. Clair, Health Informatics and Interoperability Group (HIIG), Office of Burden Reduction and Health Informatics (OBRHI), CMS
View Session Details Here

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Register for the Thursday, August 20th, How the Hoosier state is leveraging data governance, self-service analytics for rapid response during COVID-19 and beyond, hosted at the State HIT Connect Virtual Mini-Series Portal!

1.00 – 2.00 PM EDT | Thursday, August 20th
Register to view Webinar

Presentation Title: How the Hoosier state is leveraging data governance, self-service analytics for rapid response during COVID-19 and beyond

Robert Cochrane, MBA, Project Executive, Indiana EDW, Optum Government Solutions
Steve Johnson, PhD, Vice President, The Lewin Group

Presentation Overview
Imagine a world of self-reliance where state staff can leverage Business Intelligence (BI) analytics tools and related Medicaid data with greater freedom? The State of Indiana is making this vision a reality with their self-service business intelligence initiative.

The State of Indiana Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA) Office of Medicaid Policy and Planning (OMPP) with the assistance of its Division of Strategy and Technology (DST) has a goal to provide more self-reliance and self-service to their staff in an effort to run their Medicaid business more effectively and address public health issues. The aim is to give the users of BI tools and related Medicaid and public health data more freedom, responsibility, and user independence to support the following business needs:

• Assist the State of Indiana’s COVID-19 response by monitoring lab testing volume, results and determining the optimal location for new laboratory sites

• Self-service BI via the new Data Central BI portal and leveraging analytics to help customers (internally and externally) understand outcomes-based data.

At this session, hear about how Indiana is meeting this goal by implementing a BI solution pre-built with Medicaid and COVID-19 Analytics that provides self-service capabilities. This BI solution is part of FSSAs next generation data analytics ecosystem using Cloud technology and Optum’s analytics solution.

View Session Details Here.

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