Author Archives: HITC Editor

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

Presenters:
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
Presenters:

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

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

Presenters:
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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Register for the Thursday, August 6th, How Data and Platforms Hold the Cure for HHS Enterprise, hosted at the State HIT Connect Virtual Mini-Series Portal!

12.00 – 1.00 PM EDT | Thursday, June 18th
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Presentation Title: How Data and Platforms Hold the Cure for HHS Enterprise

HITC Editor

Presenters:

Carl Engel, CEO/Chief Architect Elyon Enterprise Strategies representing (PegaSystems)
Subramanian Muniasamy, Chief Technology Officer, Maryland Department of Human Services
David Whitham, ACIO Health and Eligibility, Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services

Presentation Overview

Already, the coronavirus has led to sweeping changes in healthcare across the nation including who receives the care and how they access it. Millions of Americans, now out of work, are also newly uninsured. Millions more who still have insurance have been forced to delay necessary but noncritical treatments. At the same time, doctors across the country have been granted broad flexibility to treat patients remotely, using telemedicine, instantly reshaping services ranging from routine checkups to substance use disorder treatment.

The nation’s Medicaid organizations already in the midst of transformation are feeling the effects of COVID from collaboration with providers, to serving a growing membership, to understanding how claims are processed through this Pandemic lens.

Join this exciting and informative plenary to examine the role of data, platforms in enabling state response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the technology investments, architectural approaches required to enable an agile, and ‘citizen-centric’ HHS Enterprise better suited to respond to future public health crises and to address the social inequities which exacerbate them.

View Session Details Here.

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Register for the Thursday, August 6th, Modernizing Our Public Health Systems in a Changing

Regulatory Environment, hosted at the State HIT Connect Virtual Mini-Series Portal!

1.30 – 2.30 PM EDT | Thursday, June 18th
Register to view Webinar

Presentation Title: Modernizing Our Public Health Systems in a Changing

Regulatory Environment

Presenters:
Jason Mcnamara, Health Lead, HHS, Amazon Web Services (AWS) Timothy Pletcher, Executive Director, Michigan Health Information Network (MiHIN) Claudia Williams, Chief Executive Officer, Manifest MedEx Jacqueline Sias, Provider Informatics Lead, Minnesota Department of Human Services Chris Smith, Clinical Data Interoperability Program Manager, Mississippi Division of Medicaid

Presentation Overview
COVID-19 has changed our world. States and counties are adapting strategies to effectively track cases, conduct contact tracing, monitor the most vulnerable, and prepare for immunization campaigns. To fully support these efforts, our public health data systems are in need of massive investments and modernization. This all falls within a time when our healthcare systems and providers are preparing for regulatory mandates passed under the Interoperability Final Rule and CURES Act to improve patient data liberation and expand data transparency between patients, payers, and departments of health, such as Medicaid and Public Health. This legislation mandates that payers and health care systems provide patients on-demand access to their medical data using Fast Health Interoperability Resource (FHIR) standards for a patient access application program interface (API) and list of in-network providers through a provider directory API.

To prepare for the changing regulatory landscape and systems modernization, we must invest in our state health information exchange (HIE) networks to serve the state and county agencies that need access to real-time data under the new interoperability rules. Join this session to hear how Amazon Web Services (AWS) and state HIEs are adopting new strategies and investments to help modernize our public health system to assist with the COVID-19 response and help our health care providers prepare for upcoming regulatory changes.

View Session Details Here.

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July 23rd, State Healthcare IT Connect Mini-Series Webinar hosted at the State HIT Connect Virtual Mini-Series Portal!

1.00 – 2.00 PM EDT | Thursday, July 23rd

Presentation: How States are Leveraging Technology to Implement Behavioral Health Treatment and Referral Networks to Increase Access to Care

Presenters:
Lisa Johnson, Director of Data Analytics and Strategy, Delaware Department of HSS, Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health
Nishi Rawat, M.D., MBA, Senior Vice President & Co-founder of OpenBeds
Brad Bauer, Senior Vice President, Appriss Health

Presentation Overview:
According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine, the risks associated with substance use and mental health due to social isolation during COVID-19 will likely increase. And despite the morbidity and societal costs, treatment is inaccessible to many. In addition, substance use disorder and mental health treatment referrals are not a part of the medical care continuum because screening and referrals require extensive manual work on the part of time-pressed providers.

In response, states are looking to replace existing manual search and communication processes to provide near real-time treatment facility availability, evidence-based therapy offerings, two-way digital provider communication, treatment decision support, and data aggregation and analytics.

In 2018, the state of Delaware deployed the OpenBeds platform to facilitate the referral of patients in need of SUD treatment named the Delaware Treatment and Referral Network. The platform was used to make more than 20,000 digital referrals in its first year. Join this session to understand how OpenBeds technology enables states, like Delaware, to establish treatment and referral networks to improve support and care delivery for patients in their communities.

Register & Add to Calendar

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The 2020 State Healthcare IT Connect annual meeting was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and as a result of that, we’re going be taking many of the core topics, conversations from the in-person meeting, which was due to take place this week into a ‘Virtual Mini-Series‘ over the next 6 months, ahead of the re-scheduled dates of Dec 7-9 2020.

As part of the State HIT Connect virtual platform, we’re excited to kick off the first of seven ‘Interoperability Insights’ webinars ‘From Indiana to the National Accelerators: COVID-19 and Interoperability for a Better Path forward’.
The session is, co-hosted with Daniel Stein and the National Interoperability Collaborative. The presentation is about, not only learning about API-enabled models, and solutions being developed to accelerate interoperability but to explore over two hours, linkages to public health crises, and introduce opportunities for attendees to really ‘get involved’ in the innovation that will underpin the next phase of healthcare transformation.

Takeaways
The purpose of the session is to hopefully provide participants with: Introduction to the themes, topics, and available resources for improving data interoperability across multiple domains, including a preview of the Interoperability Institute’s InterOpathon Insights into the work of Indiana’s Rapid Response “Data Coordination” Taskforce. High-Level Understanding of HL7’s FHIR Accelerator Program, through DaVinci Project, Gravity Project, Carin, as well as NIC’s Project Unify.

From Indiana to the National Accelerators: COVID-19 and Interoperability for a Better Path forward
VIEW THE PRESENTATION IN ARCHIVE HERE AT THE STATE HITC PORTAL

The kickoff webinar in our “Interoperability Insights” series showcases an innovative, cross-sector initiative in Indiana and some of the most important national accelerator projects in the U.S., including the DaVinci ProjectGravity ProjectCarin Alliance’s Blue Button and NIC’s Project Unify.

Who: State  IT Connect in partnership with the National Interoperability Collaborative (NIC, which is a project of the Stewards of Change Institute)
What: An interactive webinar series titled “Interoperability Insights,” which focusus on key sessions from the Healthcare IT Connect Conference over the next few months.
When: First webinar in the series was broadcast Friday, May 1, 2020.
Where: Register here>> for complimentary access, view on demand a the 2020 State Healthcare IT Connect Portal
Why: Because the pandemic makes collaboration and interoperability even more important!

Leaders of these efforts:

  • provide an overview of their work;
  • offer insights into practical ways for advancing information-sharing and interoperability; and, most pointedly,
  • provide information and guidance aimed at addressing public health crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic.

The presentation includes:

  • a preview of the Interoperability Institute’s InterOpathon, which will was held on May 28 and 29; participants in this exciting virtual event developed solutions for improving data interoperability across multiple domains.
  • a presentation on the work of a Rapid Response “Data Coordination” Taskforce in Indiana, which works to inform and enable the state’s effort to combat COVID-19 across multiple agencies, providers, and community-based organizations.
  • “ignite” talks about the projects in HL7’s FHIR Accelerator Program, as well as the Project Unify proof-of-concept.

All the webinars in this series are being designed to be highly interactive. That is, attendee discussion will be encouraged and built into the format, with the goal of learning from each other and then synthesizing the learning to enhance strategic action planning for better-addressing future public health emergencies.

Presentation Agenda:

Introduction to key themes, topics:
Rob Waters, VP, Healthcare IT Connect
Daniel Stein, CEO, Stewards of Change
Tim Pletcher, CEO, MiHIN

Indiana’s COVID-19 Data Taskforce: Public health response, data sharing implications!
Presenters:
Connor Norwood, Chief Data Officer, Indiana FSSA, Data Coordinator, COVID-19 Taskforce
Jared Linder, CIO, Indiana FSSA
View Connor Norwood and Jared Linder members of Indiana’s (FSSA) leadership team and learn how they were able to create a rapid response HIT task force to effectively inform and enable Indiana’s response to the COVID-19 crisis across multiple agencies, providers and community-based organizations. 

Introduction to the Interoperability Institute’s InterOpathon (May 28-29)
Mary Kratz, EVP, Interoperability Institute
View ignite presentations from HL7’s FHIR Accelerator Projects and Project Unify leaders as they prepare for a series of webinars leading to a virtual ‘Interopathon‘ that will develop solutions for improving data interoperability across multiple domains.

Introduction to FHIR accelerator projects, Project Unify
Payer-Provider Collaboration (HL7 Da Vinci)
Jocelyn Keegan, Project Manager, Da Vinci, Principal Consultant, Point of Care Partners
Consumer Access (CARIN Blue Button)
Mark RobertsAssociateLeavitt Partners, CARIN Alliance
SDoH (Gravity)
Lisa Nelson, Gravity Project Technical Director, (MaxMD Principal Informaticist
Project Unify Demonstration Project (Project Unify)
Dave Walsh, MITA TAC, NIC Let’s Get Technical Co-Lead

Facilitated Discussion & InterviewAudience Q&A
How can FHIR innovations, new rules, and state experience be used to optimize data sharing, and respond to future public health crises?

Session wrap up and opportunities for follow up resources
Rob Waters, VP, Healthcare IT Connect

Register here for complimentary access to the archive video presentation and PPTs. 

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The ‘Interoperability Insights’ virtual programming, as part of the 2020 State HIT Connect Virtual ‘Mini-Series’, provides an opportunity for participants to learn and collaborate around key interoperability related topics, projects, implementations from across the country.

The second in the ‘Interoperability Insights’ series provides critical insights and learning from a multidisciplinary team at Colorado’s Department of Health Care Policy and Financing (DHCPF), CORHIO, one of the country’s largest and most successful health information exchange (HIE) networks and Colorado Digital Service, launched in October 2019 to develop and implement user-centered solutions, using agile methodologies for Colorado’s most pressing technical challenges.

Thursday, June 4th |  View Presentation on Demand at the 2020 State Healthcare IT Connect Portal | Register to view now

Presenters:
Chris Underwood, Deputy Chief of Staff, Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing (DHCPF)
Micah Jones, HIT Coordinator, Colorado DHCPF
Vicki Foreman, Director of Health Information Office, Colorado DHCPF
John Kennedy, Project Coordinator, Colorado DHCPF
Kelly Taylor, Director, Colorado Digital Service
Parrish Steinbrecher, Director for the Health Information Office, Colorado DHCPF
Kate Horle, COO, CORHIO


Presentation Overview: In releasing the Interoperability and Patient Access final rule, CMS hopes to empower Medicaid members by giving them access to their claims and encounter information when they need it most and in a way they can best use it. As part of the Federal MyHealthEData initiative, the Final Rule will accelerate interoperability and patient access to health information by liberating patient data held by Medicaid and CHIP entities.

Colorado has long emphasized the importance of patient-centered care and breaking down health data silos. To that end, the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing, Colorado’s State Medicaid Agency, is collaborating with patients, plans, providers, care coordinators, and Health Information Exchanges to implement Patient Access and Provider Directory APIs.

Colorado has an eye for future applications of its APIs, with a vision of a broadly scalable solution that has promise for use cases beyond patient access and payer-to-payer exchange. Including use cases for providers, care coordinators, and community organizations as directed by the Member. This will be achieved through integrating the SMA’s claims and encounter data with clinical data, social determinants of health data, and datasets broader that the USCDI.

Email: Rob Waters (robw@healthcareitconnect.com) to submit topics, speakers, projects that you feel the State HIT Connect community could benefit from learning from, about – aligned to the editorial calendar.
Email: Victoria Smith (victorias@healthcareitconnect.com) to learn more about the ‘Sponsored Webinar’, ‘Underwriter Sponsor’ opportunities for the 2020 State HIT Connect ‘Virtual Mini-Series’.

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