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Indiana Health Information Exchange's Innovative Quality Health First Program Expands to Lafayette Region

Tuesday, October 20, 2009 General News J E 4
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INDIANAPOLIS, Oct. 19 Indiana Health Information Exchange (IHIE) today announced the expansion of their innovative Quality Health First (QHF) program to the greater Lafayette region. The QHF program, the first of its kind in the United States, is a quality-reporting tool for primary-care physicians, designed to benefit both physicians and their patients through better health outcomes. The QHF program supports healthcare providers in identifying and treating patients' health conditions and reminds them when crucial preventive care is needed. The Lafayette area's nearly 200,000 residents will be positively impacted by the QHF program's presence in the region.

Lafayette is the second metro area in Indiana to adopt the QHF program, which debuted in Indianapolis in 2008. The QHF program, which was designed by IHIE and the Employers' Forum of Indiana, is a groundbreaking approach to quality healthcare built on the idea that improving healthcare will ultimately reduce costs. The QHF program is built upon an evidence-based measurement system that securely aggregates and delivers important patient information such as lab results, medication and treatment histories, and other clinical data in a standardized, electronic format, across all healthcare providers. The QHF program is free to the more than 300 Lafayette-area primary-care physicians, and provides crucial patient information, such as those due for preventive screenings and chronic disease follow-up care.

On Wednesday, October 21 at 6:30 p.m., the Lafayette West Lafayette Employers Health Forum is hosting an informational meeting at Subaru of Indiana Training Center to educate local employers, insurers and providers on the QHF program. The meeting is open to health care providers in Tippecanoe and surrounding 7 counties.

"The Lafayette/West Lafayette Employers' Forum fully supports IHIE's introduction of the QHF program to our region," said Ray Sheagley, Chairman, Lafayette/West Lafayette Employers' Forum. "With some of the state's largest employers, including Purdue University, Caterpillar, Wabash National and Subaru, we see the QHF program as a way for employers to partner with payers to improve healthcare while reducing costs - not just insurance premiums, but reduced sick time too. It's an opportunity for Lafayette to help lead the way with this cutting-edge health reporting system."

Healthcare insurers Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Indiana, UnitedHealthcare and Unified Group Services all currently participate in the QHF program. Some insurers financially support top-performing physicians according to quality metrics, which could mean an additional $10,000-$20,000 per year.

Currently more than 900 physicians participate in the QHF program. They receive monthly reports that they can use to proactively monitor patients' preventive and chronic disease care. For example, they can view which patients are getting tests completed, the results of those tests and which patients have yet to come in for testing.

"Through the QHF program and other IHIE initiatives, Indiana is leading the country in integrated health reporting that benefits physicians, insurers and most of all, patients," said Dr. J. Marc Overhage, President and CEO of the Indiana Health Information Exchange. Overhage also serves as Director of Medical Informatics at the Regenstrief Institute, Inc. and is Regenstrief Professor of Medical Informatics at the Indiana University School of Medicine. "This is true healthcare reform: reducing costs and improving patient care by confidently sharing vital patient information. It's an exciting time for Lafayette physicians who can now take part in this reform by utilizing the QHF program to improve care for their patients."

For more information on the QHF program, please visit www.qualityhealthfirst.org. For more information on IHIE, please visit www.ihie.com.

About the Indiana Health Information Exchange

Indiana Health Information Exchange, Inc. (IHIE) is a non-profit corporation formed by the Regenstrief Institute, private hospitals, local and state health departments, BioCrossroads, the state's life sciences initiative, and other prominent organizations in Indiana. IHIE is the nation's most respected health information exchange organizations and one of the nation's only health information exchange organizations providing chronic disease and preventive health services (www.qualityhealthfirst.org). It is dedicated to supporting communities by providing services that enable the right medical information to get to the right provider at the right time to enhance patient care. To learn more, visit www.ihie.org.

About Regenstrief Institute, Inc.

The Regenstrief Institute, Inc., an internationally recognized informatics and healthcare research organization, is dedicated to the improvement of health through research that enhances the quality and cost-effectiveness of health care. Established in Indianapolis by philanthropist Sam Regenstrief in 1969 on the campus of the Indiana University School of Medicine, the Institute is supported by the Regenstrief Foundation and closely affiliated with the I.U. School of Medicine and the Health and Hospital Corporation of Marion County, Indiana. Regenstrief Institute research scientists form a highly respected cadre of health services researchers linked to one of the largest and most comprehensive medical informatics laboratories in the world. www.regenstrief.org.

SOURCE Indiana Health Information Exchange, Inc.
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