The Massachusetts eHealth Institute (MeHI) is starting a grant program to increase health IT usage for improved care coordination within the state.
The Connected Communities Implementation Grant Program will dole out money to groups working together to use health IT software programs that tackle region and community-specific challenges. MeHI’s goal is to increase the flow of health information exchange within the state and help providers address transitions of care and care management needs within their communities.
This includes proposals that will increase access to discharge plans and test results as patients transition between settings of care. They seek to improve outcomes and efficiency in treatment, including measureable reductions in hospital readmissions, medical errors, and duplicative tests, through improved cross-setting care management. They are looking to address behavioral, long-term, and post-acute care needs specifically.
MeHI, a division of the nonprofit, MassTech, operates the Massachusetts Health Information Highway (HIway), the statewide HIE. In the past, it has handed out grant funding to accelerate HIE within the state.
“The Connected Communities Grant Program provides us with an opportunity to support impactful health IT programs driven by the priorities in individual communities,” stated Laurance Stuntz, Director of MeHI. “Through this approach, our hope is to receive proposals that identify region-specific roadblocks to sharing information, engage a broad cross-section of healthcare stakeholders, and address the unique needs of patients in that community through the use of technology.”
Awardees will be given an initial grant of $25,000, for planning purposes. Once their plan is approved, they’ll be eligible for incentive payments over a two-year period, from $50,000 to $125,000 per milestone up to a maximum grant of $500,000.