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e-News | February 2014

e-News | Louisiana Health Care Quality Forum - February 2014

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LaHIE Surpasses 600K Unique Patient Records

The Louisiana Health Information Exchange now includes more than 600,000 unique patient records, says Brian Richmond, Chief Technology Officer for the Quality Forum.

“This means that there are more than 600,000 Louisiana residents who now have patient data stored in the statewide health information exchange,” says Richmond. “This enables these patients’ physicians to access their information more quickly to provide improved care delivery.”

Richmond notes that this number will continue to grow in the coming months as LaHIE’s reach expands across the state. Currently, there are more than 170 health care companies and organizations enrolled in LaHIE. To date, 41 facilities are live, and 94 facilities – including School-Based Health Centers (SBHCs), hospitals, clinics and home health organizations - are currently onboarding, he adds.

“We are focusing right now on expediting the onboarding process for those facilities that have in place all the necessary resources,” he adds.

To review a current list of LaHIE participants, click here.

Survey Gauges LaPOST Penetration Across Louisiana

The Louisiana Physician Orders for Scope of Treatment (LaPOST) Coalition is hosting a survey to gauge LaPOST penetration across the state.
The survey will assist the coalition in gathering information from clinical care settings in Louisiana. The data will be used to identify training and educational needs and to develop resources and tools to further LaPOST implementation. Information gathered through the survey will be kept confidential, de-identified and used in aggregate for any trend reporting.
The survey is the result of a strategic planning session held in November 2013 to identify priority goals for LaPOST in 2014. One of those goals is to incorporate the use of digital technology and self-directed resources to develop new LaPOST training tools and educational opportunities for health care professionals.
To complete the survey, click here.

Quality Forum To Present At National HIMSS Conference

Cindy Munn, Chief Executive Officer of the Louisiana Health Care Quality Forum, and Nadine Robin, Health Information Technology (IT) Program Manager, will be among the presenters at the 2014 Annual HIMSS Conference and Exhibition Feb. 23-27 in Orlando, Fla.
Munn’s presentation, “Aim to Sustain: Building a Business Model for HIE,” is scheduled for 1 p.m., Feb. 26. Her remarks will focus on sustainability for health information exchanges using the Louisiana Health Information Exchange’s model as an example. She notes that HIEs face numerous challenges in achieving sustainability beyond initial grant funding, making sustainability a “very relevant topic for HIEs across the nation.”
Robin, a roundtable facilitator, will lead an intensive 60-minute guided discussion on patient engagement in small clinics at 11:30 a.m. on Feb. 24. Her presentation, “Patient Engagement: It’s For Small Clinics, Too,” will focus on the Stage 2 Meaningful Use (MU) requirements that have placed emphasis on engaging patients in managing their health.
To learn more about the HIMSS conference or to register to attend, click here.

ONC Recognizes Value Of RECs At Annual Meeting

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), at its annual meeting in January in Washington, D.C., recognized the contributions of Regional Extension Centers (RECs) to health IT adoption and implementation, and noted that RECs have “helped build a health IT infrastructure that creates clear routes to a variety of new care delivery and payment models for providers at all points of the continuum.”
Nadine Robin, Health IT Program Manager for the Quality Forum agreed, “The meaningful use of health IT is already leading to widespread quality improvements, and we are just beginning to realize the exciting potential of health IT in tomorrow’s care.”
Currently, Robin states, the Louisiana Health Information Technology (LHIT) Resource Center, Louisiana’s REC, is nearing its goal of having 100 percent of its physicians and clinics at Meaningful Use (MU).
“We expect to reach this goal very quickly as we now have 95 percent at MU,” Robin says. “As Louisiana’s Regional Extension Center, we are unequivocally prepared to help providers adopt, implement and meaningfully use electronic health records. Now that these providers have attested to their first year of Stage 1 MU, we have launched a service line to provide support to providers and hospitals working on future phases of meaningful use.  This service line is open to providers and hospitals of all size and specialty even if the organization has never worked with the REC in the past.”
Robin notes that the REC has also expanded its services to feature a Medicaid Specialists Program to assist providers who were previously ineligible for REC support for MU initiatives offered by ONC. Specialists are eligible for this program if they meet specific criteria including the 30 percent patient threshold established by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS). These specialists must demonstrate each year that at least 30 percent of their patient volume is attributed to Medicaid during a selected 90-day reporting period, she explains.
Specialist physicians, dentists, nurse practitioners, certified nurse midwives and certain physician assistants are among those eligible for participation. For more information about the Medicaid Specialists Program and eligibility guidelines, contact Robin at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or click here.

LaPOST Workshop Set For March

A LaPOST workshop for health care professionals, administrators and social workers will be held at 2 p.m. on March 24 at Nottingham Regional Rehab Center, 2828 Westfork in Baton Rouge.
The workshop is part of the LaPOST Coalition’s mission to empower health care professionals with information and resources to assist patients with serious, advanced illnesses in making educated decisions about end-of-life care.
The workshop will feature Susan Nelson, MD, Chair of the LaPOST Coalition. Board certified in internal medicine, geriatrics and hospice and palliative medicine, Nelson serves as medical director of Senior Services and PACE Baton Rouge, Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System and St. Joseph Hospice. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine and the American College of Physicians and well as an advocate for senior health. She works with the Louisiana State Medical Society Council on Public Health and the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals (DHH), and is a member of the Board of the Directors of the National Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST) Paradigm Task Force.
The workshop is certified for one-hour of CME credit by the American Academy of Family Physicians and one-hour of CEU credit by the Louisiana Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers and the Louisiana State Board of Examiners of Nursing Facility Administrators.
There is no cost to attend the workshop. For information, contact Kimberly J. Byers at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Online registration will be available on the LaPOST website later this month.

Planning Underway For Cajun CodeFest

Cajun CodeFest 3.0, a three-day health care coding competition held annually in Lafayette, is scheduled for April 23-25, 2014.
The signature event for the Center for Business & Information Technology (CBIT) at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette (UL Lafayette), Cajun CodeFest is now in its third year. The competition is open to all students and professionals in the areas of software development, health care or business strategy industries. Teams compete for cash prizes and the opportunity to present their innovative ideas at the national level.
Speakers at this year’s event will include Bryan Sivak, Chief Technology Officer for U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS); Kathy Kliebert, Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals (DHH); and Jody Holtzman, Senior Vice-President of Thought Leadership for the AARP.
The event, sponsored in part by the Quality Forum, will coincide with the annual Festival International de Louisiane.
To learn more about Cajun CodeFest or to register to attend, click here.


Public Input Sought On Potential Privacy, Security Issues

The Health IT Policy Committee’s Privacy and Security Team is seeking public insight on potential privacy and security issues that could arise when relatives, friends or legal designees are granted access to patient information through the Certified EHR Technology ‘view/download/transmit’ capabilities.
Specifically, the team is requesting input on the following questions:
  • Are there policy issues that need further resolution regarding personal representative access to view/download/transmit accounts?
  • How do health care providers confirm that an individual is, in fact, a personal representative?
  • How are patients’ friends and family provided with credentialed access to view/download/transmit accounts?
  • Is this access “all or nothing,” or are there more granular options?  If the latter, how does this get accomplished?
Discussion of these issues is scheduled for the next meeting of the team on Feb. 10. Input should be submitted prior to that date. To submit comments, or to find instructions on how to listen to the team’s meeting, click here.

    • Nadine Robin, Health IT Program Manager, was featured in a webinar regarding UDI and Meaningful Use. To access the webinar via the Learning Management System (LMS), click here. Users who have never accessed LMS will need to first click “Create an Account” to view the webinar.
    • The Quality Forum was referenced in an online Trade Shows News Network article about the upcoming HIMSS Annual Conference. The article states that Karen DeSalvo, MD, the newly appointed National Coordinator for Health IT, will be among the keynote speakers at the conference, and notes that DeSalvo is the former board president of the Quality Forum. Read the article here. The official HIMSS announcement of DeSalvo as a keynote speaker can be found here.
    • A Jan. 23, 2014, article by featured the remarks of Karen DeSalvo, MD, at the Annual ONC Conference in Washington, D.C., in January. The article notes that DeSalvo emphasized the critical role of EHRs in the development of payment and delivery reforms, and describes DeSalvo’s role in the advancement of health IT in Louisiana prior to becoming the new head of ONC. The article adds that DeSalvo is the former board president of the Quality Forum, which is described as the state’s “lead organization for its health information exchange and regional extension center grants.” Read the article here. Another article, by, can be found here.
    • An article about the Quality Forum’s 2013 Fall Summit, “Health Care Reform and You: Professional Viewpoints,” was published in the January/February editions of the Healthcare Journals of Baton Rouge and New Orleans. Read the article here.
    • Cindy Munn, Quality Forum CEO, has been selected as a featured speaker at the 2014 Big Data in Healthcare Conference in April in Boston. Munn will present, “Using an Analytics Solution to Address Systemic Healthcare Issues: Evolution of eHealth in Louisiana.” Read the tentative agenda here.
    • The Quality Forum has announced several employment opportunities for positions related to health information technology, electronic health records implementation, health information exchange and other key initiatives. To review these positions, click here.
    • An article about the LHIT Resource Center’s Medicaid Specialists Program was published in the January/February edition of Louisiana Medical News. The article describes the program and includes quotes from Nadine Robin, Health IT Program Manager. Read the article online here.
    • Nadine Robin, Health IT Program Manager, has been selected to speak at theNational Association of Rural Health Clinics (NARHC) Spring Institute on March 19 in San Antonio, Texas. Robin’s presentation, “Health IT’s Role in Quality Improvement and Payment Reform,” will feature information about the use of health IT to implement quality improvement and payment reform strategies and the role of rural health care providers in the emerging care models. Clickhere to find information about the event.

    e-News aims to bring you a monthly summary of news about the Forum, its initiatives and related topics as we work together to shape health care in Louisiana. Your comments regarding current stories as well as ideas for future content are appreciated. Please address your feedback to Linda Morgan at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..