Tuesday, November 1, 2011

OMH Plans for Network & EHRs

The HHS Office of Minority Health (OMH) announced a project to build a collaborative research network to document the spread and contributions of mobile health clinics across the U.S. The project will be conducted by the Mobile Health Map, a project of the Harvard Medical School, and the Mobile Health Clinics Network, a San Francisco-based national membership organization with more than 300 members.

The project will allow mobile health projects to share data and enable researchers to describe the reach and accomplishments of the mobile health model, the populations served, and cost-effectiveness. Academic, government, and providers are going to launch a formal research network in 2012.

One of the prime purposes of the project will be the creation of a web-based service http://www.mobilehealthmap.org/ to help people locate clinics across the U.S. to find sources for preventive screenings.

Another demonstration project has been announced by OMH, American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA), and North Shore Medical Labs, Inc. of Williston Park NY to help foster broader adoption and use of EHRs.

AHIMA will provide six hours of web-based training on health IT to providers who work in underserved communities. About 100 providers who complete training will receive EHR licenses, including subscription fees for 12 months. Nortec will help to integrate the necessary information technology components within participating physician practices. Plus, North Shore Medical Labs will donate 75 percent of the cost of the Nortec EHR licenses, program integration, monthly subscription fees, as well as provide discounted education and training.

Provider recruitment efforts will be conducted by the Mississippi Institute for Improvement of Geographic Minority Health and the North Carolina Health Information Management Association.

Health care providers who wish to participate in the initiative must:

• Be providers in Medically Underserved Areas (MUA) or Health Provider Shortage Areas as designated by HHS

• Have an internet connection and be using an electronic billing system

• Be a small practice group of one to five providers or a FQHC within the MUA and/or PSA

• Be eligible to receive meaningful use incentives as defined by the HITECH Act

• Complete an initial application and be able to submit monthly reports

For information on this initiative, email Dr. Bill Rudman at Bill.Rudman@ahima.org or Dr. Abid Sheikh at asheikh@nsmionline.org.