Foundation-sponsored Initiative Launched For Health Centers To Achieve Meaningful Use/medical Home

PCDC and CHCANYS launched the "Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) / Meaningful Use of Health Information Technology (HIT) Learning Collaborative" to help NYC's community health centers leverage two historic state and federal financial incentives.
Sept. 16, 2010 - PRLog -- Assistance for "Medical Home" and "Meaningful Use" of Technology Incentives Expected to Benefit more than 100,000 Underserved New Yorkers
September 16, 2010 - (New York, NY) The Primary Care Development Corporation (PCDC) and the Community Health Care Association of New York State (CHCANYS) today launched the "Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) / Meaningful Use of Health Information Technology (HIT) Learning Collaborative." This unique initiative will help New York City’s community health centers leverage two historic state and federal financial incentives, while simultaneously transforming the delivery of primary care. The initiative is being supported with $525,000 in total grant funding from The Altman Foundation, The New York Community Trust, and the RCHN Community Health Foundation.

"We are excited to be partnering with CHCANYS on this critical quality improvement initiative," said Ronda Kotelchuck, PCDC's Executive Director. "This project focuses on how to transform the delivery of health care and provides innovative strategies and tactics that will help coordinate care, improve provider productivity, and leverage health information technology in new and powerful ways that improve health care quality."

"Health care reform has put community health centers on the map for delivering excellent primary care, reducing health care costs and reducing health disparities," said Elizabeth Swain, CEO of CHCANYS. "With the launch of the state's Medicaid reforms and the federal government's meaningful use of HIT incentives, health centers can now be rewarded for providing their patients with the high level of care they always have."

The project was developed in response to two major initiatives. First, the New York State Medicaid Medical Home Program offers additional dollars for primary care providers that meet national medical home standards that emphasize use of health information technology, care teams, evidence-based medicine, clear and open communication with patients, open scheduling, and management of chronic disease patients. Providers can earn as much as an additional $2-$16 per visit per patient through the program. Second, the federal government has defined meaningful use of health information technology standards and allocated $20 billion in Medicaid and Medicare incentives. Demonstration of key standards, such as electronic capture of health information; tracking of key clinical conditions; and communicating and reporting of outcomes will result in $65,000 in Medicaid or $44,000 in Medicare incentives over five years. Beginning in 2015, Medicare providers yet to demonstrate meaningful use will face financial penalties.

“New York State has made primary care a priority, and the Medicaid Medical Home program is a shining example of our shift toward a quality-based system that rewards providers for focusing on prevention, coordinated care and better patient outcomes,” said New York State Health Commissioner Richard F. Daines, M.D. “With PCDC and CHCANYS’ combined expertise in assisting community health centers to achieve these transformative milestones, New York will continue on a path toward high-quality, patient-centered care during this critical time of health care reform implementation.”

Twelve health centers serving the underserved communities of Brooklyn, the Bronx, Manhattan and Queens will participate in the first wave of this 2-year project, including: Access Community Health Center, Promesa, Boriken Neighborhood Health Center, Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center, Brooklyn Plaza Medical Center, Brownsville Multi-Service Family Health Center, Charles B. Wang Community Health Center, Joseph P. Addabbo Family Health Center, Morris Heights Health Center, Pediatrics 2000, Settlement Health, and Soundview Healthcare Network.

"Community health centers have emerged as a model for the delivery of high quality, patient centered health care. This high-impact PCDC and CHCANYS initiative, one of the first of its kind to address both medical home and meaningful use objectives, will help New York's health centers to be successful in the new environment and provide exceptional services to their communities" said Feygele Jacobs, EVP and Chief Operating Officer of the RCHN Community Health Foundation.

"As a primary care provider for the Bronx community, this project will capitalize on two very important opportunities that will not only enhance our financial strength, but most importantly improve the quality of care we provide to our patients," said Verona Greenland, President  & CEO of Morris Heights Health Center. “We are excited to participate and work with so many of our peers and colleagues towards these critical milestones."

The first wave of the project will run from September through January 2011; providing centers with classroom-style learning sessions, virtual learning tools, and one-on-one coaching. The outcomes of the project include improving access to care; creation of patient care teams and provider panels; and dual PCMH and meaningful use elements, such as the use of electronic medical records to prevent illness, identify and track conditions and lab results, and exchange of patient information across provider settings. Together PCDC and CHCANYS have worked with more than 40 primary care practices to effectively adopt, implement, and optimize use of health information technology and also co-founded the Primary Care Health Information Consortium (PCHIC) and the New York State Primary Care Coalition.

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Founded in 1993, PCDC is a non-profit organization dedicated to expanding access to timely, effective primary and preventive care by providing capital and performance improvement programs to primary care providers in underserved communities. PCDC has worked with more than 400 primary care teams located throughout the country, guiding them through the redesign of their operations so they can dramatically expand access to quality primary care by increasing productivity, implementing electronic medical records, and preparing for emergencies. PCDC has also created an investment of $260 million for more than 91 health center projects; an investment that has generated more than 2,300 permanent jobs; built/renovated 655,000 square feet of space; and created the capacity to serve approximately 595,000 New Yorkers and provide 1.75 million medical visits annually

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