Originally published: May 4, 2010
Last updated: November 29, 2010 - 11:40am
Vice President Biden and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced the selection of 15 communities across the country to serve as pilot communities for eventual wide-scale use of health information technology through the Beacon Community program.
The $220 million in Recovery Act awards will not only help achieve meaningful and measurable improvements in health care quality, safety and efficiency in the selected communities, but also help lay the groundwork for an emerging health IT industry that is expected to support tens of thousands of jobs. The selected Beacon Communities will use health IT resources within their community as a foundation for bringing doctors, hospitals, community health programs, federal programs and patients together to design new ways of improving quality and efficiency to benefit patients and taxpayers. Each Beacon Community has elected specific and measurable improvement goals in each of three vital areas for health systems improvement: quality, cost-efficiency, and population health. The goals vary according to the needs and priorities of each community.
White House officials expect the grants will create about 1,000 jobs.
The 15 Beacon communities, their awards, and key strategies for success follow:
Community Services Council of Tulsa, Tulsa, Okla.
Leverage broad community partnerships with hospitals, providers, payers, and government agencies to expand a community-wide care coordination system, which will increase appropriate referrals for cancer screenings, decrease unnecessary specialist visits and (with telemedicine) increase access to care for patients with diabetes
Delta Health Alliance, Inc., Stoneville, Miss.
Focus on achieving improvements for diabetic patients by electronically linking isolated systems and practices for care management, medication therapy management and patient education
Eastern Maine Healthcare Systems, Brewer Maine
Expand community connectivity, including long-term care, primary care and specialist providers, to existing Health Information Exchange and promote the use of telemedicine and patient self-management in order to improve care for elderly patients and individuals needing long-term or home care
Geisinger Clinic, Danville, PA
Enhance care for patients with pulmonary disease and congestive heart failure by creating a community-wide medical home, promoting Health Information Exchange and extending Geisinger’s proven model for practice redesign to independent healthcare organizations throughout region
HealthInsight, Salt Lake City, Utah
Improve Diabetes management performance measures by increasing availability, accuracy and transparency of quality reporting, leverage Intermountain Healthcare’s strategies to reduce health systems costs throughout the region, and improve public health reporting
Indiana Health Information Exchange, INC., Indianapolis, Ind.
Expand the country’s largest Health Information Exchange to new community providers in order to improve cholesterol and blood sugar control for diabetic patients and reduce preventable re-admissions through telemonitoring of high risk chronic disease patients after hospital discharge
Inland Northwest Health Services, Spokane, Wash.
Focus on increasing preventive services for diabetic patients in rural areas by extending Health Information Exchange and establishing anchor institutions in close proximity to remote clinics that will promulgate successes in health IT supported care coordination
Louisiana Public Health Institute, New Orleans, La.
Reduce racial health disparities and improve control of diabetes and smoking cessation rates by linking technically isolated health systems, providers, and hospitals; and empower patients by increasing their access to Personal Health Records
Mayo Clinic Rochester, d/b/a Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Rochester, Minn.
Enhance patient management and, reduce costs associated with hospitalization and emergency services for patients with diabetes and childhood asthma and address reduce health disparities for underserved populations and rural communities
Rhode Island Quality Institute, Providence, R.I.
Improve the management of patients with diabetes through several health IT initiatives to support Rhode Island’s transition to the Patient Centered Medical Home model and adapt infrastructure proven to improve childhood immunizations in order to achieve improvements in adult immunization rates
Rocky Mountain Health Maintenance Organization, Grand Junction, Colo.
Enable robust collection of clinical data from health systems, providers, and hospitals in order to inform practice redesign to improve blood pressure control in patients with diabetes and hypertension, increase smoking cessation counseling, and reduce unnecessary emergency department utilization and hospital re-admissions
Southern Piedmont Community Care Plan, Inc., Concord, N.C.
Improve care coordination for patients with diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, and asthma by engaging patients and providers in bidirectional data sharing through a Health Record Bank, empowering patients and family members to participate in self-management through patient portals, and expanding access to care managers to facilitate post-discharge planning
The Regents of the University of California, San Diego, San Diego, Calif.
Expand pre-hospital emergency field care and electronic information transmission to improve outcomes for cardiovascular and cerebrovascular disease, empower patients to engage in their own health management through web portal and cellular telephone technology, and improve continuity of care for veterans and military personnel through the Veterans Affairs/Department of Defense Virtual Lifetime Electronic Record initiative
University of Hawaii at Hilo, Hilo, Hawaii
Implement a region-wide Health Information Exchange and Patient Health Record solution and utilize secure, internet-based care coordination and tele-monitoring tools to increase access to specialty care for patients with chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, and obesity in this rural, health-professional shortage area
Western New York Clinical Information Exchange, Inc., Buffalo, N.Y.
Utilize clinical decision support tools such as registries and point-of-care alerts and reminders and innovative telemedicine solutions to improve primary and specialty care for diabetic patients, decrease preventable emergency room visits, hospitalizations and re-admissions for patients with diabetes and congestive heart failure or pneumonia, and improve immunization rates among diabetic patients
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