Business News for Patient Safety & Quality Healthcare
Portland, November 8, 2011—As a special project for Medicare, Acumentra Health will assist Oregon physician practices in electronically reporting adult immunization data to Oregon’s statewide immunization registry, the ALERT Immunization Information System (IIS). Acumentra Health is one of only two Quality Improvement Organizations (QIOs) in the nation selected to perform this work under contract with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). Acumentra Health received this contract in its capacity as the Medicare QIO for Oregon.
In the new three-year project, Oregon clinics will report immunization data directly to the state registry. Oregon ALERT IIS, operated by the Oregon Health Authority, Public Health Division, collects immunization data from public and private healthcare providers to create complete records for individuals in Oregon. Providers can access and update vaccination information for their patients and can use IIS functionality to notify patients who are due or past due for vaccinations. Since 2008, Acumentra Health has worked with Oregon clinics to improve their reporting of influenza and pneumococcal vaccination rates from the providers’ electronic health record (EHR) systems to CMS.
The IIS Innovation Project supports the CMS three-part aim of improving care for individuals, improving health of populations and reducing healthcare expenditures. The processes developed in this project could be spread to other states through guidance documents and incorporated into future work plans for QIOs across the country, with the goals of increasing efficiency, raising adult immunization rates and supporting meaningful use of EHRs.
“It’s an honor to assist CMS in fine-tuning the use of EHR reporting to immunization registries,” said Jon K. Mitchell, FACHE, president and CEO of Acumentra Health. “The choice of Acumentra Health reflects the effectiveness of our ongoing work with the Medicare program to improve the delivery of healthcare to Oregonians.”
Previously, the registry focused only on childhood immunization data. In 2008, it expanded to include adult immunization information. Acumentra Health will encourage physician offices to submit lifespan immunization data. ALERT IIS currently tracks all childhood and adult immunizations reported by providers and health plans throughout Oregon.
“We are excited to partner with Acumentra Health and CMS to bring more providers onboard to use ALERT IIS,” said Mary Beth Kurilo, MPH, MSW, manager of Oregon ALERT IIS. “Their efforts will help us reach adult providers who are not yet submitting data to the IIS. Ideally, we want all providers to contribute data and, even more importantly, to use the data for immunization decision support within their practices.”
Acumentra Health will recruit physician offices for this project and will train clinical staff to look up immunization status, use patient recall/reminder functionality, and run query reports. Acumentra Health will monitor participants’ reporting progress in terms of the frequency and the completeness of data submission and immunization rates.
CMS awarded a similar contract to MetaStar, the Wisconsin QIO. Acumentra Health will collaborate with MetaStar to share best practices and to identify and reduce barriers to data submission and registry interoperability with EHR systems.