Hospital Group, HIE Partner With Care Coordination Group To Reduce Readmissions

A Nevada-based HIE has agreed to work with the state’s hospital association and a care coordination technology vendor to reduce readmission rates there, which currently stand as some of the nation’s highest.

According to the participants, 15.6% of Medicare enrollees in Nevada over age 65 were readmitted 30 days after hospital discharge, the second highest readmission rate in the country.

HealtHIE Nevada, the state’s only health information exchange, is already connected to the bulk of Nevada hospitals and may be positioned to help those hospitals lower readmission rates this year. However, it apparently doesn’t feel that the data it already manages can be put to the purpose effectively as is.

The HIE is managed by a board of directors drawn from its founding organizations, which include Catholic Healthcare West, Southwest Medical Associates, Sunrise Health System, University Medical Center of Southern Nevada and Renown Health. Despite this diversity of representation, the HIE doesn’t seem to be supporting much coordinated care.

To address this dimension they are bringing on the vendor, Collective Medical, which is providing a platform designed to identify at-risk and complex patients and intervene appropriately. The platform connects multiple care environments where the patient might get care, including emergency, inpatient, post-acute, behavioral health and ambulatory settings.

Historically, participating in HIEs hasn’t always sparked widespread use of the data by affiliated physicians. Back in 2014, a study found that use of data in a Western New York HIE was so minimal that doctors continued to order excess CT scans at the cost of $1.3 million over an 18-month period. This was the case even though about 50% of patients who had duplicate CTs had consented to have the data accessed by the HIE.

Fast-forward four years, and it appears that while uptake of HIE data had increased substantially. In fact, research published by the Kansas Health Information Network and Diameter Health suggested the providers were benefiting from using richer near real-time data using interoperable interfaces. At the primary care practices studied, included with 50,000 patients seen at 214 care sites, participants were using this data to compute quality measures that extended well beyond data in a single provider EHR.

Now, with physicians and hospitals seemingly digging far more deeply into HIE data, the next step seems to be finding ways to leverage the data for coordinated care. It’s good to see that it’s come to the point.

About the author

Anne Zieger

Anne Zieger

Anne Zieger is a healthcare journalist who has written about the industry for 30 years. Her work has appeared in all of the leading healthcare industry publications, and she's served as editor in chief of several healthcare B2B sites.