CORHIO signs on more than 100 docs

Pioneer ACO eyes care coordination
By Mike Miliard
10:44 AM

South Metro Primary Care, one of the largest primary care independent practice associations in the Denver area, will connect the electronic health records of its 118 primary care providers to the Colorado Regional Health Information Organization HIE.

South Metro Primary Care is one of the 32 Pioneer Accountable Care Organizations in the U.S. It serves some 24,000 Medicare beneficiaries in greater Denver.

Connecting to the HIE will allow more than 100 primary care providers in 26 practice locations to quickly and securely access their patients' information from hospitals, other provider offices and public health departments, making for more proactive and higher-quality care, officials say.

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"We are excited to be at the forefront of connecting healthcare providers to the HIE system to help improve the care coordination for our patients," said Gerald Brown, MD, SMPC, board president and physician at Internal Medicine Southwest, in a press statement.

"Making the investment to connect was a big decision for the board," he added, "but we think it's an important step for our providers and will ultimately benefit our patients."

Information available to qualified providers through the CORHIO HIE includes lab results, X-ray, MRI and other medical imaging reports, physician transcripts, referral information, hospital discharge reports and newborn screening results.

SMPC will initially focus on connecting their practices utilizing the Amazing Charts and Allscripts EHR platforms, officials say. As the pilot progresses, more than 100 primary care physicians in SMPC on various EHR platforms will be connected to the HIE.

The data provided through CORHIO will help the SMPC providers with care coordination initiatives that are imperative to their goals of accountable and patient-centered care, such as enabling proactive follow up with patients after hospital or specialist visits, helping to prevent medical complications and hospital readmissions.

"Primary care providers and their patients can benefit greatly from the use of health information exchange technology," said Larry Wolk, MD, CORHIO's chief executive officer. "We are pleased to see that primary care providers, including those with the South Metro Primary Care group, are increasingly discovering value in the time-savings and cost-savings that CORHIO's services provide."

Moreover, he said, "We know that each time a new physician practice connects to the COHRIO HIE network, it means that hundreds – or even thousands – of patients are receiving higher-quality, better coordinated health care."

Across Colorado, there are currently 28 hospitals, more than 700 office-based providers, 40 long-term and post-acute care facilities, four behavioral health centers and two large medical laboratories connected to the CORHIO HIE.

CORHIO is also in the process of expanding its network of health care providers, officials say. It is actively working to connect 12 additional hospitals, more than 900 additional office-based providers, 44 additional long-term and post-acute care providers, two large laboratories and eight behavioral health centers.

[See also: CORHIO exceeding its initial HIE goals]


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