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Oregon to Develop Quality Metrics Registry, Provider Directory, Common Credentialing

January 13, 2016
by David Raths
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Three interrelated projects called ‘building blocks’ for statewide HIT services

The State of Oregon is moving forward on three key projects designed to enhance health IT use and interoperability, according to the January 2016 newsletter of the Oregon Health Authority (OHA)’s Office of Health IT.

The three interrelated projects are a common credentialing solution, provider directory and clinical quality metrics registry. “These projects work together, and when completed will provide crucial building blocks for statewide HIT services to support care coordination, quality improvement, efficient operations and analytics, and new models of care and payment in Oregon,” the newsletter states.

The three projects will be delivered in a staggered approach in 2017. Common credentialing is legislatively mandated and is the first priority for implementation. It will be followed closely by the clinical quality metrics registry, with the provider directory as the final project to be delivered.

The state is contracting with Harris Corp. to serve as its prime contractor and a systems integrator for the projects. Harris has partnered with the state since 2011 to manage and deliver initial components of its HIE strategy.

Here are descriptions of the projects detailed on the Office of Health IT web site:

Provider Directory Services. Today, Oregon does not have an authoritative statewide directory of healthcare providers. Instead, organizations use a multitude of isolated provider directories, spread across state and non-state systems. Those directories are often limited in scope and data accuracy, and are costly and burdensome to maintain. They also may or may not meet current and emerging nationwide provider directory standards. OHA is developing a state-level provider directory or “provider directory services” to fill this gap. The directory will contain the information providers need to securely communicate and exchange patient information. Healthcare organizations are expected to use the provider directory to find health information exchange addresses and provider information outside a clinic, coordinated care organization or designated system facilitating clinical data to be sent to the correct recipient securely and electronically It will also provide a single source of authoritative provider information, such as contact information, clinic affiliations, licensing data, etc., that can support the operations and analytics needs of healthcare organizations. OHA seeks to leverage data in current provider databases and add critical new information and functions. A stakeholder advisory group is working to help inform the development process, scope and requirements.

Clinical Quality Metrics Registry. OHA is developing a clinical quality metrics registry with the ability to receive and display clinical quality data for the Medicaid program and inform benchmarks and other quality improvement reporting. The registry will be used to calculate eligibility  for paying quality incentives to coordinated care organizations and Medicaid EHR incentives to providers. The state will use the registry data and other state data sources to produce information on utilization, cost, and performance on clinical quality metrics. Once implemented, the registry will likely have value for non-Medicaid pay-for-performance programs and reduce administrative burden on providers by collecting Meaningful Use clinical quality measures for multiple programs.

Common Credentialing Program. Oregon’s common credentialing solution will streamline the process for applying for and maintaining credentialing information for Oregon practitioners. Today, practitioners are credentialed independently by different organizations, resulting in a duplication of efforts. Practitioners must repeatedly complete credentialing applications and provide supporting documentation for each credentialing organization.

Oregon’s common credentialing tool will provide credentialing organizations access to information necessary to credential and re-credential practitioners. The common credentialing solution will not only capture and store credentialing information and documents; it will include a verification process for select credentialing information according to state and national requirements.