By Nadine Robin
Over the last several years, I have spoken before numerous audiences across the state filled with health care professionals. Many of the specialists in these audiences have voiced a common interest in receiving assistance from Louisiana’s Regional Extension Center (REC) in meeting Meaningful Use (MU) objectives.
That assistance is now available, thanks to funding received from the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals (DHH) Medicaid Office through the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).
This funding enables Louisiana’s providers of specialty care to receive subsidized assistance from the Louisiana Health Information Technology (LHIT) Resource Center, the state’s REC, in achieving MU. To be eligible for REC services at the same subsidized rate as primary care providers (PCPs), these specialty care providers must have 30 percent or greater Medicaid patient volume, and must not have received a Year 2 payment from Medicaid.
Having assisted more than 1,700 providers across 37 different specialties, the LHIT Resource Center, administered by the Louisiana Health Care Quality Forum, is well-positioned to help providers of all types in achieving MU. While we may be better known among PCPs, we are also very experienced in helping a variety of provider types - including those practicing behavioral health, dental and cardiology specialties, to name just a few.
Providers of all types will benefit from the vendor-neutral support available through the LHIT Resource Center, which guides providers through all steps to receiving incentive dollars. The LHIT Resource Center has supported providers using more than 40 different electronic health record (EHR) products. We are able to do this because we aren’t experts on any specific EHR technology; we are experts at helping providers achieve MU on any certified EHR technology.
The providers who’ve worked with our REC team know that our support is geared toward their organizations’ specific needs and goes well beyond the mechanics of health information technology (IT). In addition to aiding providers in the adoption and implementation of EHRs, we also help them to maximize financial incentives and to minimize administrative burdens associated with that implementation. We also help these providers prepare for future health care initiatives such as adoption of the Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) model of care.
All providers in Louisiana can access our services, but those who have a Medicaid patient volume which is 30 percent or greater should contact us. DHH-Medicaid has made these funds available to reduce the cost for these providers to receive our assistance with meeting the requirements of MU. The journey toward achieving MU may be a difficult one to navigate - we can help make that journey an easier one.