HHS Gives $1.5 Million to Improve HIT Adoption

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Health Center Partners, a consortium of community health centers in San Diego, Riverside and Imperial Counties, announced that it will receive $1.5 million from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to improve adoption of health information technology at member health centers.

According to a press release, the renewal of funding enables Health Center Partners to continue its work of the past three years to strengthen member community health centers through health information technology implementation, as well as meaningful use, data quality and reporting, health information exchange, population health management and quality improvement. Participating health centers will leverage economies of scale, shared resources and infrastructure, and analytic expertise to improve patient care.

Health Center Partners is one of 50 Health Center Controlled Networks (HCCNs) in 41 states and Puerto Rico to receive funds which are designed to improve access to quality care, achieve cost efficiencies through the redesign of practices to integrate services, optimize patient outcomes and negotiate managed care contracts on behalf of participating health centers. Health Center Partners will receive $500,000 in HCCN funding annually for three years. This funding will support 12 participating community health centers across San Diego, Riverside and Imperial Counties.

“We’re thrilled that Health Center Partners has once again been selected among the nation’s leading Health Center Controlled Networks to receive this important funding from HHS that supports our efforts to ensure quality primary care for medically underserved communities,” stated Nicole Howard, executive vice president for Health Quality Partners, a Health Center Partners subsidiary that is responsible for the implementation of the grant. “Grants such as this one enable Health Quality Partners to fulfill our mission every day, by offering community health centers and other safety net partners in Southern California access to resources and technical assistance in order to expand access to care and improve health outcomes, operational efficiencies and financial performance.”

HCCNs, such as Health Center Partners, support health center participation in the Federal Health Information Technology Strategic Plan. This HHS funding enables participating health centers to continue to:

  • Optimize certified electronic health record technology
  • Enhance comprehensive, integrated data collection, analysis and reporting
  • Meet the requirements of the Medicare and Medicaid Electronic Health Records Incentive Programs
  • Implement evidence-based practices to improve clinical and operational quality, reduce health disparities and improve population health outcomes
  • Improve care coordination through increased utilization of San Diego’s Health Information Exchange
  • Utilize health information technology to advance Patient Centered Medical Home implementation efforts

“Health Center Controlled Networks are a key tool in providing quality primary care to medically underserved communities,” said HHS Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell. “By using these networks, individual health centers can work together to share resources, leverage buying power, and improve access to health information technology, leading to a better care experience for vulnerable populations.”

“With a proven track record of implementing highly effective programs and positively impacting community health care outcomes, Health Center Partners and Health Quality Partners are widely recognized as change agents and visionaries at the forefront of the shift to value-based care,” noted Henry Tuttle, CEO of Health Center Partners. “We have demonstrated, time and again, our ability to meet and exceed the philanthropic objectives of a broad range of funders. The renewal of this important HCCN funding further illustrates our commitment to improving the lives of patients throughout Southern California.”

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