Promoting Interoperability

The U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Promoting Interoperability (PI) Program – formerly the Electronic Health Record Incentive Program – provides financial incentives to providers if they use a certified electronic health record (EHR) to capture and use patient data meaningfully for care coordination, patient engagement and quality improvement purposes.

How NC HealthConnex Can Help

A connection to NC HealthConnex alone does not satisfy any single objective for an eligible professional or hospital attesting to the N.C. Medicaid EHR Incentive Program (part of the CMS PI Program).

Use of NC HealthConnex and its features, however, supports the achievement of various objectives and assists providers in meeting specific measures for two main objectives.

Objectives & Supporting NC HealthConnex Functionality

Objectives and supporting NC HealthConnex functionality for the Promoting Interoperability Program's 2019 program year are listed in the following table.

Objective NC HealthConnex Functionality
Health Information Exchange
  • Electronic care transitions to outside EHRs via the NC HealthConnex Direct Secure Messaging XDR (EHR-integrated) service*
  • Provider directory with more than 20,000 searchable providers available through the NC HealthConnex portal and sent to full NC HealthConnex participants directly for use within their EHRs (updated quarterly)
  • Query-based retrieval of patient records within NC HealthConnex by providers at the point of care
  • Reports on EHR-integrated participants’ delivery notification messages for additional backup documentation/audit logging

*Providers who currently use other solutions for electronic care transitions may choose to continue using their current solutions or leverage this feature through NC HealthConnex, available at no cost with a full participation agreement.

Public Health and Clinical Data Registry Reporting
  • Automated reporting to the North Carolina Immunization Registry (NCIR) from the provider EHR, and query from within the EHR patient record of vaccine history and NCIR recommendations
  • Daily automated electronic lab reporting from hospitals to the N.C. Division of Public Health
  • Automated reporting to the N.C. Diabetes Specialized Public Health Registry, developed in partnership with the N.C. Division of Public Health (access/reporting to additional registries, including the North Carolina Controlled Substances Reporting System, are planned for 2019)

In addition to assisting with documentation for the above objectives for incentive payments and audits of payments, NC HealthConnex supports its participating providers in achieving the overarching goals of the Promoting Interoperability Program as well as other quality programs by:

  • Protecting contributed electronic patient health information, per applicable federal standards
  • Providing access to a more complete medication and health history from other places of care
  • Better informing a provider’s choice of patient education materials or clinical support tools through a longitudinal view of a patient’s health record across care settings statewide

Training Assistance

To ease provider burden associated with participating in the Promoting Interoperability Program, N.C. Medicaid and the N.C. Health Information Exchange Authority have partnered with North Carolina Area Health Education Centers to provide practice support and training services.

The N.C. HIEA anticipates expanding the scope and reach of these training services specific to NC HealthConnex in 2019 and beyond.

Documentation

While certified EHRs used to comply with N.C. Medicaid EHR Incentive Program requirements can produce all necessary reports and documentation to support achievement of the objectives and measures, NC HealthConnex supports providers with care transitions and public health submission documentation for attestation, and other specific documentation requests in the case of a state or federal audit.

For questions or more information about how NC HealthConnex supports providers with Promoting Interoperability requirements, call 919-754-6912.

More Information

To receive incentive payments, North Carolina Medicaid providers will continue to attest to meeting Meaningful Use objectives via the North Carolina Medicaid EHR Incentive Payment System (NC-MIPS).

For more information about attestation and objectives and measures, visit:

Questions Regarding Medicaid?

Providers with Medicaid related questions should contact NCTracks at 800-688-6696 or NCTracksprovider@nctracks.com.