Sunday, August 5, 2012

Tracking Washington State Activities

Washington State’s Health Care Authority (HCA) released the report “Shaping the Future of Health Care” in July 2012 describing HCA’s major projects, programs, and initiatives during the past year. Part Six: Organization, Shared Services, and Technology addresses HIT.

HCA received $11.3 million grant as a result of the federal stimulus bill to fund planning and implement a statewide HIE. Through a private sector lead organization, OneHealthPort, the State HIE is now operational and early adopters are being recruited to exchange electronic health information.

Several organizations have joined the HIE that includes a large primary care organization, mental healthcare provider organization, emergency department information exchange, and a critical access hospital.

In another development, the National Renal Administrators Association (NRAA) launched a HIE in conjunction with their national release of the CROWNWeb Quality data report to CMS. The NRAA HIE’s technical infrastructure and operations are provided by the OneHealthPort HIE.

OneHealthPort is working with trading partners PTSO of Washington, Yakima Valley Memorial, and Memorial Physicians to support a collaborative project that will pilot the use of the Community Referral form and the Consult report through the HIE.

This collaborative project supports a HRSA demonstration grant received by PTSO to use information technology to improve the management of referral information as one component of fully coordinated patient care.  

In State Medicaid developments, the new modular Medicaid payment system called ProviderOne went live. Since that time, two major system releases were implemented that were needed to add functionality along with 26 minor releases to carry out 56 system enhancements. Also, by using federal data, the state pioneered efforts to connect more than 1,100 U.S military veterans and their families on Medicaid with more comprehensive federal benefits. This has resulted in a savings to the state of close to $8 billion.

HCA took the early lead on developing a state-operated Health Benefit Exchange due to begin January 2014. Beginning in March 2012, the Health Benefit Exchange became its own public-private partnership but retains a close partnership with HCA.

In 2011, the State received $1 million in federal grant funds to integrate dual eligibles into the Medicaid delivery system. It is anticipated that updated information systems and infrastructure will be needed to handle more than 325,000 new Medicaid clients starting in 2014.

So far, the state’s Medicaid EHR incentive program has more than tripled the anticipated number of participants and resulting in over $100 million in federal incentive payments being paid to eligible providers and hospitals.

In 2011, the State received a $500,000 federal grant to support planning needed to expand proven models of health homes and support services for Medicaid enrollees who receive their medical care through fee-for-service or managed care delivery systems. The State has applied for an additional grant to provide incentives to prevent chronic disease and to support further investment in prevention and management of chronic disease among Medicaid enrollees.

HCA is continuing to work with the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovations on broad initiatives related to value-based benefit and payment reforms, delivery system reforms that integrate care administrative simplifications, and new financing models aimed at limiting annual health cost care inflation to four percent or less by 2014.

To view the HCA Report, go to