Wednesday, February 27, 2008

New York Supporting HIT

New York City’s next generation EHRs are now being used by more than 200 primary care providers and providing care for more than 200,000 New Yorkers. The City is on track to equip more than 1,000 local healthcare providers many of them practicing in the city’s poorest and sickest neighborhoods. The plans are to have EHR systems used by more than a million patients by the end of the year.

The Health Department’s Primary Care Information Project led by Assistant Health Commissioner Dr. Farzad Mostashart has developed the new electronic health records with the firm eClinicalWorks. The new software promotes prevention by giving doctors tools that no other commercially available health record now provides.

With $30 million, the Health Department developed the EHRs and offers eligible practices (primary care providers with over 30% Medicaid and uninsured patients) a subsidized package of EHR software and services including licenses, onsite training, data interfaces, and two years of maintenance and support. In return, eligible practices must bear the costs of hardware and network infrastructure and contribute $4,000 to the Fund for Public Health in N.Y. for ongoing technical support. The Health Department is also helping non-eligible practices integrate the new prevention tools into their own EHRs.

The initiative is being supported by a $3.2 million grant from the state and evaluated through $5 million in funding from CDC and AHRQ.

To further develop the use of health IT, (SB 6877) was introduced in the N.Y. state legislature on January 31, 2008 to establish two medical home demonstration programs to be located in Nassau and Onondaga counties. The bill’s purpose is to evaluate the effectiveness of the medical home concept, and Article 27-L S 2799 mandates the use of health information technology and other innovations to support the coordination of care.

The state is also looking for innovative ways to specifically improve the care for chronically ill Medicaid patients. The Department of Health on February 21st made $10 million available under the State’s Medicaid program, so that providers would be able to demonstrate innovative approaches to use to care for chronically ill beneficiaries.

As a result, the State has issued a Request for Proposal for chronic illness demonstration projects and the RFP can be found at Proposals are due on April 14, 2008.