Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Spotlight on Indiana

The Central Indiana Beacon Community (CIBC) at is expanding its reach from nine original counties to providers in 41 counties.  So far, CIBC has enrolled more than 500 additional providers in the Indiana Health Information Exchange (IHIE) and their Quality Health First (QHF) program focused on preventive health and chronic disease management. The Indiana Beacon reports that it is adding new data from hospitals and other sources so that QHF now represents nearly 75 percent of the area hospitals.

So far, QHF providers have seen an improvement of 3.5 percent in the number of their diabetic patients with acceptable ranges of blood glucose levels. At the same time, the number of diabetic patients with cholesterol levels in the acceptable range has increased by 1.5 percent. In addition, the number of patients receiving recommended cervical cancer screenings has increased by 3.24 percent.

CIBC is making QHF data on provider groups available via their web site.  The Indiana Health Information Exchange, Inc., (IHIE) recently announced that more than 750 physicians from 174 practice sites around the state have agreed to publicly post their clinical quality measure scores on QHF’s program’s public reporting web site.

The web site at lists reports, grouped by geographic regions detailing how well a physician practice performs in treating diabetes, women’s and children’s healthcare, heart health and respiratory issues. 

CIBC has also been testing innovative approaches. Through a partnership with St. Vincent Hospital in Indianapolis, CIBC has established a virtual call center to help reduce hospital readmissions for high-risk heart failure and COPD following the patient’s transition from the hospital to their home.

Patients are able to use video conferencing devices to communicate with call center-based nurses who ensure that medications are correct, monitor daily patient biometrics, and deliver health education.

A pilot study using the remote call center is underway and so far results show that only 3 percent of patients receiving remote monitoring services have experienced a readmission. Based on the strong interest in the pilot, St Vincent is expanding the number of patients that will be offered remote monitoring services supported by the call center.

In the public health sector, the Indian Department of Public Health is maintaining the Indiana Newborn Screening Tracking and Education Program (INSTEP) a web-based application for collecting, managing and sharing health information. INSTEP provides data on state birthing facilities, primary care providers, state-contracted follow-up care providers, and federal, regional, state, or local agencies with access to integrated population-based real-time data on newborn screening results.

Another study titled “Evaluation of VLER-IHIE Demonstration Project” (NCTO1446705) involving the Richard Roudebush Indianapolis VA Medical Center in partnership with the Regenstrief Institute and the IHIE), is studying how veterans use the Virtual Lifetime Electronic Record (VLER) HEALTH program. The VA-IHIE demonstration program provides bi-directional exchange of health information between the VA and non-VA partners since three out of four veterans receive a portion of their care from non-VA providers.

The study is looking at veterans that received care at the Indianapolis VAMC for at least one year prior and one year post VA-IHIE enrollment. The study will also look at the other group of veterans receiving care from a facility other than the Indianapolis VAMC one year prior and one year post VA-IHIE enrollment. Patients will be recruited into the program with an estimated enrollment of 2000 in a rolling manner over the course of a year.

The study started August 2012 and is expected to be completed November 2014. For more information on the study, email David Haggstrom, MD at