NextGen helps hospital adopt IT for underinsured

By Eric Wicklund
08:58 AM

A Missouri-based health center is looking to expand the patient-centered medical home concept to more than 30,000 uninsured and underinsured residents in the state through a deal with NextGen Healthcare Information Systems.

NextGen, based in Horsham, Pa., will help the Springfield, Mo.-based Jordan Valley Community Health Center deploy the NextGen Enterprise Practice Management (EPM), NextGen Electronic Health Record (EHR) and NextMD patient portal, as well as the Quality Systems integrated Electronic Dental Record (EDR). The applications will help Jordan Valley create a PCMH setting for roughly 32,000 residents of southwest Missouri through its network of 49 providers and 14 community care points.

“Our primary goal is to create a medical home for the patients we serve, and we feel that NextGen Healthcare provides the integrated technology platform needed to achieve it,” said Brooks Miller, Jordan Valley’s CEO, in a press release. “In addition, we have aggressive growth plans in the coming years, so scalability and continued technology innovation are critical. NextGen Healthcare has a proven track record of partnering with organizations like ours to help realize the true operational and clinical benefits of technology.”

“Jordan Valley Community Health Center is taking a leadership role in the establishment of patient-centered medical homes,” added Philip N. Kaplan, chief operating officer for Quality Systems, NextGen’s parent company. “Serving community health centers for more than a decade, NextGen Healthcare is uniquely positioned to provide both technology and guidance as organizations strive for fewer errors, less strain on limited resources and, ultimately, a healthier America.”

NextGen and Jordan Valley officials are currently deploying NextGen EPM, with the rest of the package expected to be deployed during the first half of this year.

The Jordan Valley contract is the latest example of NextGen’s efforts to advance meaningful use of healthcare IT through healthcare connectivity solutions - a key component to qualifying for federal incentives under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009. Company officials say, however, that more guidance is need form the federal government as healthcare providers look to adopt IT.

“The proposed rule should give doctors, particularly those that have not yet decided to implement an EHR, some comfort with the path to qualifying as meaningful users and obtaining the government’s incentive reimbursements,” said Scott Decker, President of NextGen Healthcare, in a Jan. 11 press release. “But first, more guidance is needed to build trust and understanding of healthcare automation - from how to purchase the right EHR, to product implementation, training, and cultural change in an automated practice environment. NextGen Healthcare also encourages providers to comment on the newly released criteria in our Community Forum and to leverage our other online resources to become more informed and prepared to adopt and effectively use health information technology.”

To that end, NextGen officials have made available and online guide, “Getting to Meaningful Use,” to walk providers through six critical steps toward meaningful use of EHRs. In addition, the company has launched an multimedia and education portal to educate providers about ARRA.

NextGen provides integrated EHR and Pm systems, along with Quality Systems’ dental record software, to more than 250 community health centers in 39 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands.