Indiana Health Information Exchange – Led Collaboration Receives $16 Million to Establish Health IT “Beacon Community”

Collaboration Looks to Expand ‘Game Changing’ Chronic Disease and Prevention Program Across 41 Counties, Representing 43% of Indiana’s Population Base

INDIANAPOLIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Further reinforcing Indiana’s cutting-edge position in health information exchange and health information technology, Vice President Joe Biden and HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced today a $16 million Cooperative Agreement with the Indiana Health Information Exchange.

Funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the Beacon Community Program helps communities at the cutting edge of electronic health record (EHR) adoption and secure health information exchange attain a new level of health care quality and efficiency.

The Indiana Beacon Community encompasses an area which includes the Indiana cities of Anderson, Bloomington, Carmel, Columbus, Fishers, Indianapolis, Kokomo, Noblesville, Plainfield and Richmond.

“Today’s announcement reflects the work that’s been accomplished by IHIE, the Regenstrief Institute and the Employers’ Forum of Indiana over many years to provide quality, value-driven healthcare. We’ve already engaged over 14,000 physicians and over 70 healthcare organizations, including 60 hospitals, and brought together stakeholders along the healthcare continuum in a productive forum to accelerate and demonstrate the feasibility and value of health information exchange and health information technology,” said J. Marc Overhage, M.D., Phd, and President and CEO of the Indiana Health Information Exchange. “Our Beacon Community Program will be a guiding light to others showing Indiana’s sustainable, secure and robust infrastructure can promote an effective, efficient, secure and reliable healthcare system across the nation.”

Overhage also serves as Director of Medical Informatics at the Regenstrief Institute and is the Regenstrief Professor of Medicine at Indiana University School of Medicine.

The Indiana Beacon Community’s 36-month long program will be tackled through three main activities:

1. A focus on connecting, accessing, or capturing additional clinical data sources. Currently, the exchange securely captures a rich set of clinical data, but patient information from physician practices has historically been difficult to capture. This information from physicians could include vital signs and point-of-care testing like cholesterol levels that are ‘siloed’ in physician offices. This agreement will enable these kinds of data to be included in the exchange for an even more robust - and relevant - patient record.

2. By securely capturing additional information at the physician level, IHIE will be able to broaden and deepen its Quality Health First ® Program ( by adding new disease and wellness measures and functionality, while broadening provider participation in order to more fully address the challenges of efficiency, quality and public health.

3. IHIE will work with providers and Indiana’s federally funded HIT Regional Extension Centers with a special focus on rural physicians to devise and implement initiatives aimed at achieving electronic health record adoption and meaningful use in at least 60% of primary care providers in the Indiana Beacon Community area.

These activities will help the collaborative achieve specific ambitious goals outlined in its proposal:

1. Reduce the number of preventable hospital admissions and emergency department visits that are related to ambulatory care by 3%,

2. Reduce the number of ambulatory care re-admissions by 10%,

3. Reduce the number of redundant radiologic studies by 10%,

4. Increase the proportion of patients screened for colorectal and cervical cancer by 5%,

5. Increase the data available for adult immunizations by 5%,

6. Improve by 10% the proportion of patients whose diabetes is under control, as evidenced by HbA1C levels below 9%; and

7. Improve by 10% the proportion of diabetic patients whose cholesterol is controlled, as evidenced by achieving risk-adjusted LDL targets.

With the support of IHIE’s partner, the Regenstrief Institute, which first developed Indiana’s health information exchange infrastructure over 30 years ago, IHIE securely sends health information (lab results, radiology reports, medication histories, treatment histories and more) in near real-time, where and when it is needed for patient care (to emergency departments, outpatient centers and ambulatory practices). The information can be combined into a patient-centric ‘abstract’, providing the most up-to-date information on a patient, regardless of where that patient has received care.

This same information has enabled IHIE to provide one of the nation’s most innovative preventive health and chronic disease management programs. This service, called the Quality Health First ® Program, is supported by all major healthcare stakeholders (physicians, hospitals, payers, patients and employers) and is a ‘game-changing’ program that begins to shift reimbursement to quality, not quantity, of care while supporting physicians by giving them relevant information that helps them take care of their patients.

Dr. Alan Snell, Chief Medical Informatics Officer at St. Vincent Health added, “Such a system of motivated healthcare stakeholders can launch a ‘snowball effect’ to generate a sustainable national model of a community of ‘meaningful users’ of health IT that achieves measurable improvement in quality, safety and efficiency.”

IHIE plans to work with other community partners, like Purdue’s Indiana Healthcare Information Technology Extension Center, which recently received $12 million in ARRA funds to help health-care providers adopt and use health information technology, such as electronic records and e-prescribing. IHIE also believes the existing $10.3 million grant to the State of Indiana from the ARRA’s State Health Information Exchange Cooperative Agreement Program (CAP) can be leveraged to further enhance the quality and reach of the state’s existing health information exchange infrastructure to improve health outcomes for Hoosiers and reduce costs across the continuum of health care.

Background fact sheets and other information on IHIE can be found at:

A map of Indiana’s health information exchange network can be found:

IHIE Physician Network:

IHIE Hospital Network:

About the Indiana Health Information Exchange

Indiana Health Information Exchange, Inc. (IHIE) is a non-profit corporation formed by the Regenstrief Institute, private hospitals, local and state health departments, BioCrossroads, the state's life sciences initiative, and other prominent organizations in Indiana. IHIE is the nation's most respected health information exchange organizations and one of the nation's only health information exchange organizations providing chronic disease and preventive health services ( It is dedicated to supporting communities by providing services that enable the right medical information to get to the right provider at the right time to enhance patient care. To learn more, visit


Full list of Indiana Beacon Partners:

A map of the region involved in the Beacon Community Program can be found:


Indiana Health Information Exchange, Inc.
Jenny Siminski, Office: 317-644-1724
Cell: 317-213-5466
[email protected]

KEYWORDS:   United States  North America  Indiana

INDUSTRY KEYWORDS:   Practice Management  Health  Hospitals  Radiology  Other Health  Nursing  General Health  Managed Care