Massachusetts Health Information Highway to Fund $2M for Implementation Grants

March 15, 2013
Source 
Massachusetts eHealth Institute

The Massachusetts eHealth Institute at the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative today announced a $2M HIway Implementation Grant Program which will fund projects that catalyze connections to the statewide Health Information Exchange, the Mass HIway.

“As we adopt electronic health records in Massachusetts, we’re working to ensure those records are used meaningfully and shared over the Mass HIway,” Pamela Goldberg, CEO of the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative.  “These implementation grants are an innovative tool to help our state’s health providers use the health information exchange effectively, which fundamentally impacts how we deliver health care.”

Intended for healthcare organizations the grant program will fund collaborative projects that catalyze connections to the Mass HIway by migrating existing processes away from paper-based exchanges and those exchanges using proprietary tools.  Successful proposals will aim toward measurable improvements in care quality, population health, and cost containment through use of health information technology and the HIway.

“Sharing health information over the Mass HIway is a key tenet of health care reform in Massachusetts, as it provides for coordinated care that improves health care delivery to the patient,” said Laurance Stuntz, Director of the Massachusetts eHealth Institute at MassTech. “We’re working to accelerate that critical activity through this implementation program.”

The Last Mile Program – the Mass HIway program charged with growing adoption of the Mass HIway – is funded through  the State Health Information Exchange Program of the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) of Health IT, at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.    The ONC has designated funds in support of “states’ efforts to rapidly build capacity for exchanging health information across the health care system.” The Last Mile Program working collaboratively with Executive Office for Health and Human Services (EOHHS) is using Program funding to fund these HIway Implementation Grants with a goal of growing the adoption of the HIway.

”Coordinating care among a patient’s multi-institutional care team and, in a manner consistent with Meaningful Use, is no easy task,” said Sean Kennedy, Director, Health Information Exchange at the Massachusetts eHealth Institute. “Massachusetts’ healthcare system requires more sophisticated approaches than faxing records back and forth. Implementation of the Mass HIway provides the services to securely exchange health information among a patient’s healthcare team. MeHI, along with our ONC and EOHHS colleagues, are eager to hear of the many ways the HIway may be used to improve care via this grant.”

Projects may receive award amounts up to $75,000. Proposals are due Tuesday, April 16, 2013, and awards will be announced in May 2013.  Applicants will be able to access the grant application on March 15, 2013. The Mass HIway team will host online information sessions throughout the month starting on Tuesday, March 19, at 7:30am EST. To register for a session or request more details read HIway Implementation Grants

About the Massachusetts eHealth Institute

The Massachusetts eHealth Institute (MeHI) at the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative is the state's entity for health care innovation, technology, and competitiveness and is responsible for advancing the dissemination of health information technology throughout Massachusetts, including the deployment of electronic health records systems in all health care provider settings that are networked through a statewide health information exchange. For more information, please visit mehi.masstech.org and follow us @MassEHealth

About the Mass HIway

The Massachusetts Health Information Highway (Mass HIway) is a collaboration between the Massachusetts Executive Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS) and MeHI to deploy a secure statewide health information exchange. The Mass HIway enables the electronic movement of health related information among diverse organizations, such as doctors’ offices, hospitals, laboratories, pharmacies, skilled nursing facilities and health plans. The HIway facilitates the exchange of clinical information among varied health care information systems, while maintaining the meaning of the information being exchanged, regardless of provider affiliation, location or differences in technology. Using the HIway can give doctors and other clinicians a more comprehensive understanding of their patients’ full medical histories to inform a more complete delivery of their healthcare.