Arizona HIE partnership aims to help providers with value based contracting

Arizona's health information exchange (HIE), Arizona Health-eConnection, is demonstrating a new way to evolve to meet consumer needs by partnering to help providers coordinate care and participate in value based initiatives.

In a viewpoint article published last week in The Arizona Republic, Melissa Kotrys, CEO of Arizona Health-e Connection, Mark Fisher, CEO of Mercy Care Plan, and Eddy Broadway, CEO of Mercy Maricopa Integrated Care, discuss the launch of their partnership, the Practice Innovation Institute, which will help providers use the HIE's network. The institute will provide outreach, education, coaching and direct assistance to move providers through five milestones, such as reporting and using data to generate improvement and getting to benchmark status, according to its website.  

The institute is supported by a new $3.6 million grant from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, with a potential award of up to $14.6 million over four years. 

"Together, we will develop and operate the Practice Innovation Institute that will support 2,500 providers to expand their capacity for quality improvement, share innovative ideas and best practices, and achieve the common goals of improved care, better health and reduced costs," the authors state.

Arizona's HIE has been working hard to sustain itself and stay relevant, and has enjoyed support from providers and payers, Kotrys told FierceHealthIT in an interview earlier this year. Participation fees for hospitals and health plans fund about 95 percent of the HIE's operational costs; the remaining 5 percent is funded through low participation fees paid by individual and smaller providers.

HIEs are exploring different business models and adding interstate data sharing and administration, discharge and transfer alerts to their array of services, especially as the industry looks past the Meaningful Use program and moves to accountable care. A number of HIEs are looking into offering personal health records that wouldn't need to be tethered to EHRs; ONC has released a report offering guidance for HIEs that wish to consider this option.

To learn more:
- here's the article
- learn about the institute

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