Maryland’s Regional Extension Center Assisting Hundreds of Primary Care Providers with Transition to Electronic Records
BALTIMORE, Md. (December 7, 2010) – Lt. Governor Anthony G. Brown and the Chesapeake Regional Information System for Our Patients (CRISP) announced today that the 200th clinician has signed up to participate in Maryland’s Regional Extension Center for Health Information Technology (REC). CRISP aims to recruit 1,000 primary care providers to transition to electronic health records (EHRs) by 2014.
CRISP is a private, non-profit organization whose mission is to provide safer, more timely, efficient, effective, equitable, patient-centered health care to all Marylanders through health information technology. CRISP has been designated Maryland’s statewide health information exchange by the Maryland Health Care Commission and is supported through the state’s unique all-payor rate setting system and with federal grant funding.
“The REC is a wonderful resource for Maryland’s primary care providers and small practices. Adopting and using electronic health records will benefit patients, improve the quality of care and help clinicians maximize their incentive payments from the centers from Medicare and Medicaid services,” said Lt. Governor Brown. “Governor O’Malley and I will continue to work with our health care partners to ensure that Marylanders receive quality, affordable health care. We will roll-up our sleeves to find the missing pieces of the health care puzzle so that Maryland can fully embrace health reform and remain a nationwide leader in health care.”
RECs were created last year under the Health Information Technology Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. HITECH provided approximately $2 billion nationally in new programs to provide training and technical assistance and to demonstrate the effectiveness of health information technology in supporting improvement in care.
Maryland, CRISP and other state health care and educational institutions have received nearly $25 million dollars from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to help implement health information technology in Maryland. Maryland was one of the first three states in early 2009 to have its State Health IT plan approved by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, allowing the state to move forward to implement a functional health information exchange.
The Maryland REC has partnered with state-designated Management Services Organizations (MSOs) as the mechanism for achieving widespread adoption and meaningful use of EHRs. MSOs are not merely selling a product. They offer an array of on-the-ground services to make a practice’s transition as painless as possible. Each has committed to providing customers with connectivity to the wealth of clinical data on the statewide HIE. By signing up with an MSO, Maryland providers can access the following benefits:
· EHR and other relevant education and training;
· Practice and workflow redesign;
· EHR project management and implementation services;
· Assistance with connecting your EHR to the HIE; and
· Help with achieving meaningful use
A full list of MSOs can be found here <http://www.crisphealth.org/ForProviders/RECOverview/MSODirectory/tabid/158/Default.aspx> .
“We’re excited by the number of capable MSOs participating in the REC program and offering proven technology; it is a good formula for MD physicians,” said David Horrocks, President of CRISP. “The relationships being forged now among MSOs and providers will be sustainable ones that everyone well into the future.”
Lt. Governor Brown leads the O’Malley-Brown administration’s efforts on a range of issues, including health care. Brown led the efforts earlier this year to pass the Medicaid False Claims Act and establish Patient Centered Medical Homes. He chairs the Maryland Health Quality and Cost Council, co-chairs the Maryland Health Care Reform Coordinating Council and has championed efforts to expand access to mental and behavioral health services for Maryland’s veterans.
To learn more about CRISP and how it is enabling the adoption and meaningful use of health information technology in Maryland, please visit www.crisphealth.org <http://www.crisphealth.org/> .