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New Hampshire REC Reaches Goal of Helping 1K Docs in State Achieve Meaningful Use

September 12, 2016
by Rajiv Leventhal
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The Regional Extension Center of New Hampshire (RECNH) has announced that it has reached its goal of assisting 1,000 priority primary care providers (PPCPs) across the state in attesting successfully to the government’s electronic health record (EHR) Incentive Program.

As part of the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, the state of New Hampshire received nearly $11 million to create infrastructure to support the adoption and meaningful use of health IT by establishing RECNH and creating a state-wide health information exchange (HIE). The RECNH is one of 62 Regional Extension Centers in the country created via federal funding.

With the support of a $6.9 million federal award, RECNH “played a critical role in advancing the use of health information technology in the state by providing project management, technical assistance and strategic guidance to a wide range of healthcare organizations,” the organization noted in a press release announcing the accomplished goal. RECNH worked directly with public and critical access hospitals, community health centers, behavioral health centers, and independent providers. Through a coordinated funding effort, RECNH was able to disseminate over $3.2 million dollars back into the state to offset provider organizations’ time and resources dedicated to the program.

“The assistance we received from the RECNH was critical in helping us to understand the details behind the Meaningful Use measures and objectives for both hospital and outpatient providers. The RECNH team guided us through requirements, deadlines, incentive payments and subsequent payment adjustments from Medicare and Medicaid,” Patty Witthaus, director of information technology at Claremont-based Valley Regional Hospital, said in a statement. “We would not have been able to successfully meet Meaningful Use without RECNH.”

Nancy Fennell, Director, RECNH, added, “Reaching this milestone is a significant step towards facilitating better data exchange across the state. However, our work does not stop here. We have taken what we’ve learned from the MU program to expand our scope in support of health information exchange activities, and continue to provide support services through the New Hampshire Health Information Organization (NHHIO). Now that our providers know how to use an EHR, we are working with them to understand how to exchange critical patient information directly with those who share in the care of their patients.”

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