December 2019
Issue: 7
MHC Updates
Top Three From the CEO
1. MO HealthNet HIE Onboarding Program
Please be advised that Missouri Health Connection (MHC) has funding available to cover the one-time implementation costs associated with connecting to MHC’s Health Information Exchange (HIE) network. The funding available to qualified MO Medicaid Eligible Hospitals (EHs) and Eligible Providers (EPs), under the Meaningful Use program, will be used to connect your organization to MHC without incurring any costs for:
  • Implementation/Onboarding costs to establish a connection between MHC and the EP/EH EHR. Onboarding to the MHC HIE network requires a data interface to be established between the MHC HIE network and a provider’s EHR system so that a bi-directional exchange of health data can be accomplished and facilitated;
  • MHC’s first year of Annual Subscription Fees for services; and
  • The EHR interface fee assessed by your EHR vendor to establish an interface connection with MHC. 

MHC strongly encourages any Missouri Medicaid provider to contact MHC as soon as possible to get in the queue to onboard to MHC’s HIE network by taking advantage of the funding available. If you are interested in learning more about this opportunity please direct all inquiries about this opportunity to onboard the MHC HIE network to Angie Bass at (573)777-4550 or ABass@MissouriHealthConnection.org   

2. 2019 MHC Annual Connection
The MHC Annual Connection had a wonderful turn out. I am honored to be able to bring together every corner of the state to continue the conversation of bringing providers, and their patients, meaningful, actionable data to positively support high quality health care. I hope those that were able to attend left the Connection more knowledgeable and confident in MHC.

Mark your calendar for the 2020 MHC Annual Connection to be held October 21, 2020.

3. Patient Consent Changes to an Opt-Out Model
Make sure you read the new patient consent policy change below. MHC is happy to help answer questions and provide more information to our Participants.

Continue to look for more updates on our social media pages and website! Follow MHC on social media by clicking icons below.

Happy Holidays,
Angie Bass, President & CEO
MHC Patient Consent Policy Change
MHC works closely with our Participants and has received continuous feedback from a majority of Participants that advocate revisions to the MHC consent policy are necessary. Specifically, most Participants indicated a desire for MHC to switch to an opt-out patient consent policy. The underlying premise behind this desire is to more closely align MHC’s consent policy with HIPAA, while recognizing that MHC’s HIE network is a technological replacement to past methods of data sharing (e.g., the fax machine).

As of October 30th, 2019, the MHC Board voted to change the MHC patient consent policy to an opt-out consent model ceasing any further efforts to implement Consent-to-Access (C2A), an opt-in model. The new opt-out policy should enable MHC Participants to leverage existing policies and a practice related to patient opt-outs and requests to restrict the disclosure of health information. In the coming weeks, you will receive additional information about the pending policy change to the opt-out consent model, including instructions and the opportunity to provide feedback and comments on this policy change. At this time, after completing all the necessary and required notification requirements to our Participants, MHC anticipates that the new policy will take effect early next year, likely in March or April 2020. 
2019 MHC Annual Connection
The 2nd Annual Connection was a successful day filled with engaged attendees and highly anticipated announcements. MHC continued to drive the conversation of Putting Data into Action by bringing in speakers from Blue Cross Blue Shield of KC, CareDirectives, DrFirst, InterSystems, Nebraska HIE, and the Director of MO HealthNet, Todd Richardson.

Director Richardson kicked off the Annual Connection by emphasizing the importance for interoperability. Richardson also discussed Missouri's efforts to bring the highest quality of health care to all Missourians which includes the state's relationship with MHC. Health information exchange plays a critical part in ensuring patient care continuum is covered.

MHC's Shirley Tyson and David Dieterich introduced two Return on Investment (ROI) calculators to the audience, one of which will be available to members in 2020. MHC successfully demonstrated that the cost of being a member of MHC was well worth it, given that MHC has more than 83 organizational connections and for a single party to connect to all of MHC’s established connections on their own would cost more than a million dollars. The audience applauded the analysis and agreed that being a part of MHC was financially responsible.

MHC happily announced Mr. John Conroy as the new MHC Board Chair. "As health care quickly transforms from a traditional fee-for-service physical construct to a virtual and digital care delivery apparatus, MHC is uniquely positioned to implement disruptive technologies, such as population health predictive models on its vast information database, to bring transformative net experiences to its participants," said Conroy.

MHC CEO, Angie Bass, summed up the Annual Connection saying, "MHC is here to serve our participants with meaningful, actionable data and services to transform the delivery of health care".

Read more about MHC’s new connections and partners below; one of which, Care Directives, spoke at the Connection.
Todd Richardson, Director of MO HealthNet, speaking at the 2019 MHC Annual Connection
M HC Patient Numbers
MHC Positive Patient Consent Rate:
96% 

Total MRN in MPI:
23,853,026

Total Unique MPIID:
13,740,415
New MHC Partners & Participant
The MHC team works diligently to grow the MHC network to better serve our Participants and patients in the Midwest and nationally. New partners and participants are shown below.
MHC in the News
Missouri Health Connection and Care Directives form partnership to streamline the sharing of advanced care planning documents.
Columbia, MO and Murrieta, CA October 9, 2019 Missouri Health Connection (MHC), the Midwest health information exchange (HIE), proudly announces today they have formed a connected community partnership with Care Directives; a provider of cloud-based solutions for exchanging advanced care planning (ACP) documents across the care continuum in real-time and at the point of care.

www.missourihealthconneciton.org
Missouri Health Connection and Hawaii Health Information Exchange Connection Expands HIE reach
Columbia, MO October 2019 – Hawaii Health Information Exchange (HHIE) connects through Missouri Health Connection (MHC) to become a part of SHIEC's Patient Centered Data Home initiative (PCDH). HHIE is a welcomed new PCDH member and MHC is honored to be connected to HHIE directly. The connection between HHIE and MHC is planned for early 2020.
Lewis and Clark Health Information Exchange and Missouri Health Connection Sign Agreements
Columbia, MO – December 2019 – Missouri Health Connection (MHC) and Lewis and Clark Information Exchange (LACIE) signed an agreement solidifying their partnership to connect the entire state of Missouri. MHC looks forward to working with LACIE. The connection is planned for early 2020. MHC will send our Participants an announcement when MHC and LACIE go-live.
Board Member Q & A Spotlight
John Conroy
Executive Director
Mercy Health, St. Louis

MHC discusses health industry changes and direction with newly appointed MHC Board Chair, John Conroy, in the interview below.

MHC: John, you were recently selected as the MHC Board of Directors Chair, what has it meant to you to be a part of MHC and the transformation of interoperability within Missouri and beyond its borders?

John Conroy: Having been a part of MHC, as both a participant and later board member, since its inception, it has been fabulous watching the enterprise mature from a simple ‘patient data swap’ service to a multi-dimensional provider of not only data, but relevant real-time clinical information incorporating alerting for key patient activity.


MHC: MHC has accomplished a lot in its short life, where would you like to see MHC in 5 years?

John Conroy: With managed lives and accountable care organizations gaining a larger and larger portion of patient health (as opposed to fee-for-service), population management data science provided by MHC will evolve to offer one of the most advanced predictive analytics engines in the country. Merging traditional clinical diagnoses and outcomes with socio-economic factors, new models will be offered providing yet-to-be-seen valuable insight into future health expectations. Interventions can then be made days, months, if not years, before a clinical event is expected for an individual. It is imperative that life expectancy in the US be extended, it has gradually contracted in the last few years unbeknown to most.


MHC: What would you tell health care providers who are not currently participants of MHC about the need to join an HIE to achieve their interoperability goals?

John Conroy: The power of compounded, shared information should never be underestimated. Years ago, an aged Database Administrator (DBA) told me very directly, "Information and what you do with it is AT LEAST the second most valuable asset of any organization". Besides the ability to be immediately alerted when a patient is seeking care outside the walls of your organization or network, the power to push PAMI (Problems, Allergies, Medications and Immunizations) information, whether through a referral or transition of care, cannot be underestimated in either the clinical or Meaningful Use spaces.


MHC: With the advent of new technologies like artificial intelligence, block chain, precision medicine; how will these change the dynamics of care delivery?

John Conroy: Without merging socio-economic information with clinical information, most AI and block chaining predictive heuristic models will be, how can I say, epic fails! Delivery of care will slowly morph from reactive to proactive. From proactive to predictive. Yet to be seen, and of course many ethical and legal hurdles exist, if deep genetic history will be integrated; it is the third important leg of a solid predictive AI clinical model. Many cancers are linked directly to specific gene variations and defects. Clinicians and scientists alike concur, without good genetic family history, prediction models are difficult to develop and those lacking genetic ingredients produce less than adequate results.


MHC: As a recognized health care leader, what aspect of patient care keeps you up at night and what can be done on that matter?

John Conroy:   In today’s disconnected, ‘text me’ world, the gradual loss of human touch in health care is becoming glaringly obvious. With innovations such as remote virtual care, video visits, diagnosis via e-mail, robots who perform surgeries such as the DaVinci robot, we tend to lose that quintessential human experience, a person helping another person. Yes, maybe someday all diagnosis will be done by robots using triquarters (Star Trek mention, what smart phones will morph into) and surgeries performed in glass operating tubes by more robots (many movies), but MHC needs to be cognizant of the need for the clinician to patient connection. I will work with others on the board to always have an eye for the social and interactive part of medicine.
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Upcoming Events
Mark your calendars!

2020 MHC Annual Connection
Wednesday
October 21, 2020
MHC Wants to Hear from You!
MHC values our Participants, future participants, and supporters and would like to hear from you!
Please reach out to MHC with any type of inquiry.