Author Archives: HITC Editor

Plenary Session Details | 12:00 – 1.00 PM. EDT
Meeting CMS Interoperability Requirements, Bringing forward the Enterprise Data Vision

(*see full session abstract below).

Many states are in the middle of designing and implementing technology solutions in order to meet compliance deadlines for the CMS Interoperability Rule. At the same time, this undertaking has prompted many states to develop a multi-agency data sharing/interoperability roadmap that shifts the focus from program-specific data to person-centric data shared amongst all stakeholders in order to achieve optimal outcomes for beneficiaries.

There are many factors, of course, that will impact a State’s ability to bring forward its enterprise data vision and to design and implement a seamless, person-centric service delivery model. Join our panel of state leaders, HIE, and industry participants who will discuss the role of state leadership, data governance, technology innovation, and resource allocation in accelerating interoperability initiatives to meet with CMS mandates and to define the next phase of HHS transformation.

Join our panelists who will share their perspectives, experiences as well as to discuss topics including:

What progress has been made?

  • Engaging vendors vs leveraging in-house developer resources, hybrid models to meet CMS interoperability requirements.
  • What can we tackle next? Will payer to payer interoperability requirements be the next requirement to drop?
  • Is inter-agency data sharing included under the functional definition of ‘information blocking between business associates’?
  • What needs to happen for data governance to keep pace with rule-making, data sharing requests? What role should the governor’s office play?
  • Pulling forward the enterprise data vision, what will be the role of broader enterprise integration platforms?
  • Harnessing vendor innovation community for maximum impact in the short, long term.
  • What will the next phase of vendor innovation look like?
  • How can we leverage our HIE partners?
  • How can we leverage interoperability in support of ‘outcomes-based transformation!
  • How can Public Health participate? What SME resources can be shared from Medicaid, HIEs to help facilitate major modernization projects?

- Ryan Howells, Principal, Leavitt Partners
- Michael Barabe, Enterprise Data Architect, Office of Strategic Services, Division of Enterprise Technology Services, Washington State Healthcare Authority
- Tim Pletcher, Executive Director, Michigan Health Information Network Shared Services
- Nick Blake, VP Client Services, Brijent

Schedule a Meeting to Discuss All 2021/2022 Available Opportunities

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The Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services began a collaborative initiative with Lewis & Clark County stakeholders to develop a way to identify individuals that may be homeless or unstably housed and in need of housing assistance. The effort was organized by the Corporation for Supportive Housing (CSH) using a Frequent User System Engagement (FUSE) grant provided by the Montana Healthcare Foundation.

The goal of the project is to improve health outcomes and reduce the associated healthcare costs by helping individuals find and maintain supportive housing. It can be difficult to improve a person’s health when they lack basic needs such as adequate food, water, and a safe place to live, these factors can impact a person’s health more than having access to healthcare. For people with complex medical issues complicated by mental illness or substance abuse, homelessness can lead to frequent emergency department use, hospitalizations, and encounters with the criminal justice system.

Using data from the Homeless Management Information System (HMIS), St. Peter’s Hospital (claims and clinical data), Lewis & Clark County homeless and incarceration information, Medicaid, and Foster Care systems, the Department created a model with Cerner to compute a Housing Instability Risk Score for every individual. Cerner’s analytics solutions HealtheAnalytics and HealtheDataLab permitted the integration of disparate datasets and model development. Cerner data scientists supported the state of Montana through service hours to complete the project. This work was presented to CSH leadership and it was decided to transition to a statewide phase II initiative.

Join our presenters from the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services, Cerner, and LexisNexis to follow the path from project inception, design, delivery, and implementation and to understand the impact, outcomes for some of the state’s most vulnerable populations.

Key learning objectives include:

  1. Learn how Montana identified the optimal strategy to address homelessness or chronic housing insecurity for families and individuals who struggle with substance use disorders, mental illness, and other disabilities.
  2. Understand how ‘supportive housing’ pairs affordable housing with services such as medical and behavioral healthcare, case management, employment assistance, and other social services.
  3. Explore how data science and advanced analytics is being leveraged to implement the ‘Housing is Healthcare’ initiative.

- Tim Peterson Project Manager MT MPATH
- Ha Trinh, PhD Senior Statistician Cerner Corporation
- Shea Vogl, Population Health Business Analyst MT DPHHS

Join the complimentary LIVE WEBINAR September 16th, 1 pm EST   |  Register Here

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State Medicaid programs serve millions of people in our nation, yet engagement in these programs is transactional rather than holistic. Members find the processes complex and confusing and are often bounced from system to system searching for information. Providers also face challenges navigating the complexities of enrollment, claims, and encounter processing while fulfilling requirements that allow care to be delivered.

Medallia Customer Experience (CX) offers a meaningful way to address these and many other issues that hamper program effectiveness and healthy outcomes.

Join us as we discuss:

Trends in customer engagement in State Medicaid Programs
- How to boost member engagement by building journey maps that feature critical touchpoints in eligibility, enrollment, accessing services etc.
- How to deploy digital, email-to-web, contact center & mobile feedback channels at these critical touchpoints.
- How agencies like the Department of Veteran Affairs are using Medallia to improve provider and Veteran trust and overall experience.

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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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Today’s modern Medicaid Enterprise Systems are composed of reusable modules, connected in a Data Hub pattern, as defined by the CMS MITA initiative. In this webinar, we talk about how to speed time-to-value and reduce risk by focusing first and foremost on an Operational Data Store (an ODS) that fills the Data Hub role, and connects all the modules with clean, curated data for both real-time and batch operations. We will demonstrate a small, prototype ODS of this type to illustrate the MarkLogic approach. We will also show new Medicaid Accelerator components that MarkLogic is making available at no cost as open-source software, using the FHIR data standard for both internal and external interoperability as defined by the CMS interoperability rule. We will also discuss and weigh in on the difference between FHIR use internally vs externally. This demonstration will show how to import, combine, track, master, analyze and query Medicaid data to simplify MES Modernization efforts, and how to expose it in any format to downstream systems.

Damon Feldman, Senior Director, Solutions Engineering, MarkLogic
Gary Katz, Senior Account Executive, MarkLogic

Join the complimentary LIVE WEBINAR July 22nd 1 pm EST  |  Register

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LIVE PLENARY WEBINAR | Thursday, October 8th | 3:00-4:00 EDT
Register to Attend 

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
Register to Attend | Add to Calendar

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.

Register to View Live Webinar

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

Register to View On-Demand

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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