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

The Massachusetts eHealth Institute at the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative recently 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 HIT 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 of Health Information Technology (ONC). 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 of 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 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 March 19, at 7:30am EST. To register for a session or request more details visit www.mehi.masstech.org/hiway-implementation-grants.

Source: Massachusetts eHealth Institute at the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative