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Hudson Valley Initiative Launches New Website to Share Health Care Transformation Lessons Learned, Research Results, Team Expertise

Wednesday, June 30, 2010 News on IT in Healthcare J E 4
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Multi-company initiative offers insight into pay for performance, health information technology implementation, medical home physician practice transformation

FISHKILL, N.Y., June 29 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Billions in stimulus funding for electronic health records and health information exchange will find its way to physician practices beginning in just a few months. Three organizations in New York's Hudson Valley have distilled a common vision based on compelling ideas: Health information technology should be used as a tool to improve patient care and community health, through new models of care that are patient-centered, coordinated and accessible, and financed to sustain lower cost, high quality care.

These organizations have launched a website that will serve as a portal to share these ideas and educate the community, policy makers and providers about groundbreaking work and research underway in the Hudson Valley.  

The site, http://hudsonvalleyinitiative.com, is the result of the innovative synergy of Taconic IPA, Taconic Health Information Network and Community (THINC) and MedAllies. It outlines the organizations' shared vision for revolutionary health care transformation, based on a unique collaborative history among physicians, technical experts and community health leaders.

"Our accomplishments to date are grounded in our shared beliefs and a mutual trust built across the health care continuum, including providers, payers and community health leadership," said Susan Stuard, executive director of THINC.  "We can already look to an impressive history of implementation of electronic health records and practice transformation to patient-centered care. Our vision going forward is clear. Health information technology is a starting point, but we are focused on the bigger picture: real transformation for improved quality, safety and efficiency of health care in our community."

Collaboration among the three organizations has already produced significant success in the Hudson Valley:

  • Electronic health record physician practice adoption rate of 38 percent (46 percent among primary care providers)
  • Six years of experience with health information exchange
  • National Committee for Quality Assurance patient-centered medical home recognition for 237 primary care providers
  • Robust health plan involvement in care coordination and value-based purchasing initiatives
  • Measurable gains in quality and safety

The new site offers outcomes of research conducted by Weill Cornell Medical College that quantifies the clinical and economic value of the group's initiatives to date. These studies illuminate the impact that new technologies, used in conjunction with evolving care models, can have on health care quality, costs, medication safety, consumer satisfaction, provider experience and implications for health care policy.

"None of this is easy. It takes time, ongoing evaluation, leadership and sustaining energy at the local level," said A. John Blair, MD, president of Taconic IPA and CEO of MedAllies.  "We can point to research-based results to show our accomplishments, but change requires intense focus, new funding models and restructuring of the health care delivery system."  

To facilitate this, a number of pilot and research projects are underway that will evaluate the effectiveness of care coordination and patient-centered practice transformation in the Hudson Valley:

  • More practices are receiving support to become medical homes and are expected to achieve NCQA recognition this year.
  • Ongoing research with Weill Cornell Medical College is examining measures of patient satisfaction, physician satisfaction, the safety of interactive e-prescribing systems within electronic health records, quality and outcome measures and the impact of health information technology on quality and performance.  
  • Enhanced health information exchange capabilities are expected to go live in the coming months to enable exchange of structured data between electronic health records, to support the nation's goals for meaningful use of health information technology.
  • An initiative to train nurses to provide structured care coordination in physician practices is being piloted this year.

The Hudson Valley Initiative site is designed as a source for health care transformation news, resources and research from each organization. In addition to the site, the organization's leadership team is available and ready to offer their experiences and lessons learned to other local and national organizations, including health plans, provider organizations, health care technology companies, policy makers, and employer groups.

Hudson Valley Initiative team members include:

  • A. John Blair III, MD, FACS, CEO, MedAllies and President, Taconic IPA
  • Susan Stuard, MBA, executive director, THINC
  • Paul Kaye, MD, medical director, Taconic IPA and Hudson River HealthCare, and treasurer of THINC
  • Holly Miller, MD, MBA, FHIMSS, chief medical officer, MedAllies
  • LeRoy Jones, chief information officer, MedAllies
  • Jill Quaresimo, RN, research nurse, Taconic IPA

More information on the Hudson Valley Initiative ideas and access to team members' full bios can be found at www.hudsonvalleyinitiative.com.

About the Hudson Valley Initiative

The Hudson Valley Initiative is an effort among three organizations—Taconic IPA, Taconic Health Information Network and Community and MedAllies--to revolutionize health care delivery through a shared vision to improve the quality, safety and efficiency of health care in the community. These three organizations leverage health information technology, physician practice transformation and value-based purchasing in pursuit of care delivery that is patient-centered, coordinated, accessible, high quality, and efficiently delivered through sustainable financial models. To learn more, go to http://www.hudsonvalleyinitiative.com.

SOURCE Hudson Valley Initiative

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