Chapel Hill, N.C.-based Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina is working with Allscripts (Chicago) to make electronic health records (EHR) available to more than 750 North Carolina physicians, allowing those providers to connect to the statewide Health Information Exchange (HIE).
The new initiative, called the North Carolina Program to Advance Technology for Health (NC PATH), also provides training and ongoing support for these practices to implement the certified EHR technology, and work towards achieving 'meaningful use' status and becoming patient centered medical home (PCMH) recognized.
"This alliance with Allscripts puts our state on a path to better health outcomes driven by high standards," said Brad Wilson, BCBSNC president and CEO, in a statement. "By providing more than 750 physicians with this technology and support, they are better able to coordinate care – an important step toward improving our health care system."
Participating practices receive support for their efforts toward earning PCMH recognition. In addition, BCBSNC is working with the North Carolina Health Information Exchange to create a program that will support and enable all participating providers to connect to the HIE so that they can share data among providers.
Participation in NC PATH will help physicians meet key provisions of the HITECH (Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health) Act including:
- Adoption of certified EHR technology to support 'meaningful use' requirements.
- Eligibility for up to $44,000 in 'meaningful use' EHR incentive payments under the HITECH Act, in addition to the BCBSNC subsidy.
- NC AHEC Regional Extension Center support in achieving 'meaningful use' well in advance of the 2015 deadline, which avoids potential reduced Medicare reimbursements.