A project of L.A. Care Health Plan, HITEC-LA helps clinicians and their staff use electronic health technology to help improve patient care
Los Angeles – HITEC-LA, a project of L.A. Care Health Plan, the nation’s largest publicly operated health plan, was awarded a contract from the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) for $10,825,000 over three years to provide electronic health record (EHR) technical assistance to 2,165 Medi-Cal providers in L.A. County. Launching in 4Q 2015, the program helps Medi-Cal providers reach meaningful use on EHRs. Providers that use EHRs in a meaningful way can expand the capabilities of their practices, leading to improved clinical quality, lower costs, and a better patient experience.
“This award is critical to leveling the playing field for many of our Medi-Cal providers – and we’re thrilled to help them improve their capabilities to better serve L.A. County patients,” said L.A. Care Chief Executive Officer John Baackes.
In May 2015, DHCS released a notice of funding opportunity for the Medi-Cal EHR Technical Assistance Program with a maximum amount of $37,500,000 for all award recipients throughout California. In response to the notice, L.A. Care submitted an application to serve L.A. County Medi-Cal providers. In June, DHCS awarded grants to L.A. Care, CalHIPSO, CalOptima, and Object Health. The program will enable continued assistance provided by Health IT Regional Extension Centers (RECs) such as HITEC-LA and expands the current scope to include additional provider types such as specialists and providers in medium or large size practices.
Since starting in 2010, HITEC-LA has worked with more than 5,700 L.A. County health care providers and recently passed 92% of its goal to help 3,000 of those reach meaningful use of EHRs and consequently qualify for federal incentives. While HITEC-LA serves providers who accept Medicare, Medi-Cal, uninsured, and commercial plan patients, the organization’s focus is helping those providers who care for the lowest income residents of L.A. County. Through HITEC-LA, L.A. Care is able to offer safety net providers the same health IT resources that are available to private providers, which enhances their ability to serve some of the most vulnerable patients in the county.
HITEC-LA belongs to the network of Regional Extension Centers across the country formed under the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, which is part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. In addition to developing Regional Extension Centers, the HITECH Act also created Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs, which provide incentive payments to eligible professionals as they adopt, implement, upgrade or demonstrate meaningful use of certified EHR technology. Eligible health care providers can receive up to $63,750 under the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program or up to $44,000 under the Medicare EHR Incentive Program.
About L.A. Care
L.A. Care Health Plan (Local Initiative Health Authority of Los Angeles County) is a public entity and community-accountable health plan serving residents of Los Angeles County through a variety of health coverage programs including L.A. Care Covered™, Medi-Cal, L.A. Care Cal MediConnect Plan, L.A. Care’s Healthy Kids and PASC-SEIU Homecare Workers Health Care Plan. L.A. Care is a leader in developing new programs through innovative partnerships designed to provide health coverage to vulnerable populations and to support the safety net. With more than 1.8 million members, L.A. Care is the nation’s largest publicly operated health plan.
Health Information Technology Extension Center for Los Angeles (HITEC-LA) was founded in 2010 under the Health Information Technology Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act when the federal government awarded L.A. Care Health Plan, the nation’s largest publicly operated health plan, a $16.4 million grant. HITEC-LA is the exclusive federally-designated Health Information Technology Regional Extension Center for Los Angeles County. HITEC-LA acts solely in the best interest of Los Angeles County health care providers, helping them select, implement, and meaningfully use electronic health records certified by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC). HITEC-LA is funded by the ONC, Department of Health and Human Services, Award Number: 90RC0052/01. Visit www.hitecla.org.