AHCA Announces Medicaid Health Information Exchange Demonstration
˜Providers and consumers to have access to Personal Health Records˜
TALLAHASSEE – April 6, 2009 – The Florida Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) announced today that it has partnered with Availity L.L.C. to implement a new demonstration project that will provide physicians and patients with access to Medicaid claims–based electronic health records.
A Request for Information was issued in November to explore the feasibility of partnering with a vendor to provide this type of health information exchange (HIE) at no cost to AHCA, health care providers, and Medicaid recipients. This initiative serves to promote the effective use and exchange of health care information in a secure environment and reflects the intent of the health information technology provisions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
"This is a huge step forward in giving patients and providers the information they need to make good decisions about managing their care," AHCA Secretary Holly Benson said. "Health care professionals armed with more complete information at the time of service can improve coordination, avoid duplication of tests, and encourage preventive care. We are delighted to offer this exciting tool to move us forward in meeting these important objectives."
The Availity Health Information Network provides health care professionals with a secure Web portal for the exchange of health information in compliance with the confidentially regulations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) and Florida Law. Availity will include Medicaid patient eligibility and benefit information as well as medical and prescription claims history from all of their participating payers including Florida Medicaid.
In year two, Availity will integrate data from multiple sources and develop patient–centric views that will further facilitate identification of duplications or gaps in care. Providers must access the data for treatment purposes only and must have explicit authorization from the patient to access the Medicaid data except in a medical emergency where the patient or family is unable or unavailable to consent.
Availity will also offer a secure consumer portal in partnership with HealthTrio for accessing electronic personal health records (PHRs) providing Medicaid recipients with a tool to record information about their health care. PHRs help consumers organize their health records and related information, and provide care management tools to coordinate their overall health care. Availity will also subcontract with HealthTrio to offer infant and well–child health management tools, immunization schedules, appointment reminders, and health education materials. HealthTrio LLC, is a provider of e–health applications including HIPAA–compliant electronic health records.
"Availity is honored to be selected for this demonstration project," said Russ Thomas, president of Availity. "Florida has always been on the forefront of leveraging technology solutions to improve health quality and access. We look forward to expanding the Availity network to serve Medicaid members by delivering critical health information at the point of care."
Availity and HealthTrio will conduct provider and consumer satisfaction surveys to determine which features and enhancements are most desired by providers and consumers. This information will be used by AHCA to plan for future improvements.
Florida–based Availity is a health information network originally created by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida and Humana in 2001. The Availity network currently connects to most payers and providers in Florida and will provide a wide array of health information exchange services on a no–cost basis to AHCA, health care providers, and Medicaid recipients.
The Agency for Health Care Administration is committed to better health care for all Floridians. AHCA administers Florida's Medicaid program, licenses and regulates more than 32,000 health care facilities and 37 health maintenance organizations, and promotes the exchange of and publishes health care information and statistics. For more information please call (850) 922-5871 or visit http://ahca.myflorida.com.