Health Information Technology for Clinical and Economic Health (HITECH) Act funding was established in 2009 with the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) and became the primary source of funding for Health Information Organizations (HIOs). As a result, providers in all settings could share and view vital patient information in a timely way. With HITECH sunsetting in 2021, HIEs are facing an impending funding gap and must identify new funding sources to continue to support and further develop services.
A Path Forward
Don’t worry – this doesn’t mean the end of the road for government-funded health IT initiatives. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) put a lot of money into HITECH investments and wants to continue to support and see the benefit of the HITECH developed technology. CMS has provided guidance in a series of state Medicaid director letters (SMDL)that provide a pathway for transitioning HITECH-funded technologies and services into a state’s Medicaid Management Information System (MMIS) and may therefore be eligible for funding through MMIS Advance Planning Document (APD) funding requests. While the federal government has made huge investments, and providers across the country depend on HIE services like encounter notifications, clinical data repositories, and reporting mechanisms to provide the highest quality of care, transitioning funding from HITECH to MMIS will take thought, planning, and collaboration with state Medicaid programs.
Meaningful Use is the name of the game for HITECH APDs, and MITA is the name of the game for MMIS APDs
Great news, and seems easy enough, right? However, this is not a simple “trade” or “swap” for funding by completing a different application. HIEs and Medicaid departments need to work together to identify what HIT assets benefit the Medicaid enterprise and then how the work advances the Medicaid Enterprise System (MES) maturity.HIEs and Medicaid departments need to work together to identify what HIT assets benefit the Medicaid enterprise and then how the work advances the Medicaid Enterprise System (MES) maturity. Click To Tweet
Audacious Inquiry (Ai) has helped HIOs across the country remain stable by working through our 6-step methodology, called the “Medicaid HIT Advantage Framework”, for transitioning funds. Working with ONC’s HIT Maturity Model and MITA business processes, Ai tied HIT capabilities to relevant MITA business processes. With the mapping foundation in place, individual programs evaluate their specific use cases and align them with HIT capabilities and MITA business processes.
Follow these six steps to identify non-HITECH federal funds to support your HIT efforts:
This process takes deep understanding of both the HIO and Medicaid program to fully identify the important business cases and outcomes the technology supports. A State’s Medicaid Plan, State Plan Amendments, waiver programs, and other programmatic goals must be identified and tied back to HIT assets in order to help clearly demonstrate eligibility to pursue MMIS funding.
This isn’t the only piece of the puzzle. There are some very important activities that HITECH pays for that aren’t currently funded by MMIS and likely never will be. Ai helps organizations identify priority HITECH initiatives, like provider outreach, so they can maximize remaining HITECH dollars.
Ai does this work for Medicaid agencies and HIOs. If you are interested in learning more about this work and how Ai can help your organization, please contact medicaidadvisory@AINQ.com.
Ai’s Sarah Miller will be talking more about this process on Wednesday, August 21st at 11:00 AM at the Medicaid Enterprise Systems Conference (MESC) in Chicago, in a session titled, “HIT Coordinators Rejoice! HIT can still be funded with other Medicaid Technology Money.” Other presenters include David Wertheimer (Maryland Department of Health), Lindsey Ferris (CRISP), and Thomas Novak (ONC). See you there!
Ai presented this topic at State Health IT Connect in March 20, 2019. View the recording below.
Associate | Audacious Inquiry