Wisconsin Health Information Technology Extension CenterMar 26th, 2010 | By ehrstimulus | Category: Choose an EHR, HHS, Meaningful Use, Regional Extension Centers
The Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) for Health Information Technology has
established Health Information Technology (HIT) Regional Extension Centers to support
adoption of HIT.
Under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009, ONC awarded grants for
the establishment and operation of Regional Extension Centers to provide HIT technical
assistance to health care professionals within specific geographic regions. A consortium of six
Wisconsin health care organizations received a grant to establish the Wisconsin Health
Information Technology Extension Center (WHITEC) as the Regional Extension Center for the
entire state of Wisconsin.
WHITEC reports being overseen by a Steering Committee comprised of representatives from the six collaborating organizations, which, in addition to MetaStar, are the Rural Wisconsin Health Cooperative, the state of Wisconsin, Department of Health Services, the Wisconsin Hospital Association, the Wisconsin Medical Society, and the Wisconsin Primary Health Care Association. WHITEC's objective is to ensure that health care professionals in Wisconsin are able to attain meaningful use of electronic health records and improve health care quality and efficiency in their practices.
- A national program to offer technical assistance and support to health care professionals in adopting, implementing, and achieving meaningful use of electronic health records to improve the quality and efficiency of care and qualify for Medicare and Medicaid incentive payments
- The ONC provides national oversight of the Regional Extension Centers
- The Extension Center grants are four-year cooperative agreements with a mix of federal funding, pa
rticipation fees and other funding.
WHITEC Assistance and Support:
WHITEC is based in Wisconsin and is focusing on ensuring that Wisconsin based providers are able to attain meaningful use of EHRs and improve health care quality and efficiency in their practices. WHITEC reports Services are available to all providers practicing in Wisconsin but financial subsidies will be available to priority primary care providers, which are defined as:
- physicians and other health care professionals with prescribing privileges in practices of
- ten or less providers
- ambulatory clinics connected to a public or critical access hospital
- community health centers or rural health clinics
- other ambulatory settings predominantly serving uninsured, underinsured, and medically
WHITEC will be assisting with the selecting, implementing, and achieving meaningful use of an EHR as well as reaching interoperability and health information exchange with other providers and agencies.
Starting in 2015, providers not actively using a certified EHR in compliance with the “meaningful use” definition will be subject to financial penalties.
WHITEC will be providing the following services :
- Initial readiness assessment
- Individualized strategic “roadmap” plan for reaching meaningful use
- Workflow analysis and redesign tools
- Selection, contracting, and purchasing tools
- HIT installation and implementation assistance
- Privacy and security best practices
- Interoperability and health information exchange assistance
- EHR optimization and meaningful use achievement