CCNC, NCHIE Work Together to Improve Access to Health Data

Organizations to provide information “on-ramp” for NC physicians

Raleigh, N.C. – Community Care of North Carolina (CCNC) and the North Carolina Health Information Exchange (NC HIE) today announced an agreement to work together to improve physicians’ access to health care data and electronic medical records.

“Getting actionable data into the hands of clinicians in order to improve care is a core part of CCNC’s mission,” said L. Allen Dobson, Jr., MD, President and CEO of CCNC. “This collaboration will aid that effort, as well as enhance our ability to identify opportunities to improve prevention and impact care at critical moments. Linking North Carolina providers to the NC HIE’s health information exchange is an important first step toward more intelligent data use across North Carolina’s health care system.”

CCNC has agreed to serve as the NC HIE’s first qualified organization (QO). A QO is an organization that connects its health care enterprises to a health information exchange in ways that meet exacting technical, legal and policy standards. Many QOs can exchange health information within their organization, but need a pathway and a process to successfully exchange information with other QOs, state and national agencies, as well as payers, regional health information exchanges and other information sources. The new initiative will leverage CCNC’s existing statewide infrastructure and provider relationships, realizing the potential benefits of a health information exchange in a flexible, cost-effective and secure manner.
“Working with CCNC to facilitate the secure transfer of patient data will benefit both patients and providers,” said Jeff Miller, CEO of NC HIE. “Our goal is to provide medical professionals across North Carolina with the information they need to make the best medical decisions for their patients. This will improve the quality of care patients receive, help control medical costs and put physicians on the right path to achieve meaningful use requirements.”

CCNC is scheduled to connect to NC HIE’s health information exchange in March 2012 and will begin onboarding “participants,” or health care providers, immediately. The first group to connect to the health information exchange through CCNC will be providers participating in the NC Program to Advance Technology for Health (NC PATH). NC PATH is a collaboration between Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC), Allscripts and NC HIE, and provides independent primary care providers and free clinics assistance in the adoption of electronic health record (EHR) technology and meaningful information exchange to improve health outcomes, reduce health care spending and aid practices in becoming health information technology compliant.

The new endeavor between CCNC and NC HIE will also focus on the creation of unique applications and services that support patient-centered medical home practices. The initial application will address the need for coordinated medication management for patients with chronic conditions who are prescribed multiple medications for long periods of time. In order to achieve coordinated, well-informed and comprehensive medication management across a patient’s multiple medical providers, health care professionals must have access to a common record of a patient’s medication list(s) and use. Physician monitoring of prescribed medications can prevent complications, unnecessary hospital admissions and readmissions, and costly medical problems.

Through the collaborative efforts of CCNC and NC HIE, CCNC’s existing medication management tool, Pharmacy Home, will be connected to the health information exchange and made available to NC HIE participants as a value-added service, or “xChange App.” The Medication Management Application is the first xChange App to be offered by NC HIE.

For more information on what CCNC and NC HIE are doing to improve health care in North Carolina, visit www.nchie.org or www.communitycarenc.org.

About CCNC
CCNC is a community-based, public-private partnership that takes a population management approach to improving health care and containing costs for North Carolina’s most vulnerable populations. Through its 14 local network partners, CCNC creates “medical homes” for Medicaid beneficiaries, individuals eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid, privately-insured employees and uninsured people in all 100 counties.

About NC HIE
North Carolina Health Information Exchange (NC HIE) is a private nonprofit that provides North Carolina’s health care system with a Health Information Exchange (HIE) technology infrastructure to support real time access, exchange and analysis of health information. The NCHIE makes critical data available when and where it’s needed to improve health outcomes and control health care costs for North Carolina residents. For more information, visit www.nchie.org.