January Update

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

N.C. Health Information Exchange Authority Year in Review

Happy New Year from the team at the N.C. Health Information Exchange Authority (NC HIEA)! As we begin work in this new year to continue to build connected communities of care in North Carolina, we reflected on the accomplishments of 2019:

  • Migrated to a modernized HIE platform that provides enhanced capabilities and an improved user interface;
  • Executed more than 2,000 participation agreements for health care providers in North Carolina to begin exchanging clinical records to improve patient care; 
  • Connected over 700 facilities who began sending data to NC HealthConnex; 
  • Delivered HIE’s Roadmap 2021 outlining strategic initiatives;
  • Provided access to national health information exchange networks - eHealth Exchange and Patient Centered Data Home - to full participants;
  • Attended and presented at more than 80 presentations, conferences and trainings throughout North Carolina; and
  • Trained more than 3,000 health care professionals.

Since beginning operations in 2016, the NC HIEA has connected over 5,200 health care facilities enabling more than 30,000 health care providers to more efficiently coordinate care for over 8 million patients in North Carolina.

Improved Sharing of Veterans’ Health Information through NC HealthConnex 

North Carolina has one of the largest military populations in the country and is the second largest employer in the state. With such an abundant presence in North Carolina, military and veteran health care support is of great importance. Through the state-designated health information exchange, NC HealthConnex, participants will now have broader access to veterans’ health information to support improved treatment and care coordination.

The VA MISSION Act, an act that was implemented in July 2019 to help expand patient access to care and boost community care options, will allow providers in early 2020 to have access to veterans’ medical information.  With the new opt out model at the VA, NC HealthConnex participating health care practices will be able to improve care coordination and maintain the most up-to-date patient information for veterans receiving care from multiple providers.  

In addition, the U.S. Department of Defense’s (DoD) Defense Medical Information Exchange (DMIX) is now available to NC HealthConnex participants via the HIEA’s eHealth Exchange connection to provide secure and seamless electronic access and share comprehensive health and administrative information for military and veteran personnel.

The DMIX system facilitates the rapid exchange of patient and beneficiary information, especially in emergency situations, yielding consolidated, coherent and consistent access to electronic heath records. This will enable integrated health data sharing among the Military Health System (MHS) GENESIS system, legacy DoD systems, VA systems, other federal agencies and private sector health providers. 

According to the DoD, NC HealthConnex participants provided more than $4 million in health care services to Military Health Service beneficiaries in 2018. The DoD’s military treatment facility sites that are the most impacted by onboarding NC HealthConnex with the DMIX are Fort Bragg, Camp Lejeune, NHC Cherry Point, AF-C-4th MEDGRP-SJ and Portsmouth. NC HealthConnex participants are able to query the DMIX system via the web-based clinical portal.

The DoD reports that the DMIX system will increase the amount of military health service beneficiary health care information that will be available for sharing by more than 50 percent.

For more information about the Veteran’s Health Information Exchange, click here

NC HIEA Calendar of Events

  • Teletown Hall – Provider Education and User Management (open to all NC HealthConnex Participant Users), Wednesday, January 22, 2020, 12-1 p.m. To register, click here
  • How to Connect Call – Monday, January 27, 2020 at 12 p.m. – Click here to register. Interested providers are invited to join a monthly "How to Connect" to learn about who we are, the state mandate, steps to connect and the HIE’s value-added features.
  • Teletown Hall – Clinical Portal Demonstration (open to all NC HealthConnex Full Participant Users), Wednesday, January 29, 2020, 12-1 p.m. To register, click here
  • Rural Health Symposium – Thursday, February 27, 2020. To register, click here
  • HIEA Advisory Board Meeting – Friday, March 20, 2020 at 2 p.m. For more information, click here

**NC HealthConnex Participants - Please keep an eye out for the Annual NC HealthConnex Participant Survey arriving in your inbox this week. 

The NC HealthConnex Team Answers Your Frequently Asked Questions

The FAQ section of the NC HIEA website contains answers to commonly asked questions. For the most up-to-date answers to your questions, please follow the link here.

Training and Education Requests

Training is now available through your local Area Health Education Center. To request training, please complete the linked form.

If your organization would like a member of the HIEA Outreach Team to present at a meeting or conference, please contact Jessica Brehmer at Jessica.Brehmer@nc.gov.

In Other News

What Does a 21st Century Cures Act 2.0 Look Like for Health IT? - Medical device development, data exchange, and patient access to innovative therapies need to be at the heart of the next iterations of the 21st Century Cures Act, an effort U.S. Representatives Fred Upton and Diana DeGette are calling “Cures 2.0.” ehrintelligence.com

Overcoming Barriers to Value-based Care Adoption Requires Wise Use of Technology - Using the power of data to tweak processes and squeeze the maximum amount of reimbursement possible is a must in today's environment. Healthcarefinancenews.com

Emily Hughes