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HealtheNews: January 2016 Issue


        In This Issue:

  • 2015: Year in Review
  • Oral Health Topic Page Added to HealtheCNY
  • New "Need Help?" Button Added to myConnections
  • Meaningful Use Incentive Program Update
  • Additional Opportunity for Meaningful Use Hardship Exemption
  • HealtheConnections is Hiring: Health Systems Improvement Analyst
  • December 2015 HIE Statistics

2015: Year in Review

HealtheConnections had a very productive year in 2015, with changes to its business and enhancements to the health information exchange.

2015 Highlights

Business Changes:
  • Launched the Population Health Improvement team, focusing on community health data, best practices, and innovative strategies to build the capacity for population health work in Central New York
  • Redesigned the HealtheConnections website for easier access to pertinent information
  • Launched the HealtheCNY website to connect Central New York to better health by providing population data, best practices, and resources
  • Voted in a new Board of Directors
  • Developed and implemented re-state company by-laws and board governance
  • Achieved accreditation with the NYSDOH as a Qualified Entity (QE) of the Statewide Health Information Network of New York (SHIN-NY)
  • Awarded $2.05 million Local IMPACT grant to prevent and control obesity, diabetes, heart disease and stroke
Health Information Exchange (HIE) Achievements:

  • Updated the user portal, myConnections, allowing single sign-on to access all HIE services
  • Implemented myAlerts to notify clinicians of specific patient events
  • Integrated with Department of Defense to access active military medical records
  • Added 140 new participating organizations, totaling 555 organizations that are participating with HealtheConnections
  • Over one million patients provided their consent for at least one participating organization
  • Implemented clinical data warehouse for reporting, auditing, and analytics
  • Over 2,100 licensed providers using HIE services
  • Delivered over 759,000 laboratory, radiology, and transcribed reports and results
  • Received over 58 million messages from hospitals, labs, imaging centers, physician practices, and other data contributors
  • Sent over 3,500 alerts per month
  • Increased the number of Direct Mail users to 1,384
  • Added three new connected EHRs (Amazing Charts, Inforia, NextGen) and increased total number of data contributing organizations to 144

Oral Health Topic Page Added to HealtheCNY

oral health topic page

The new Oral Health Topic Page highlights an area of health promotion that is a New York State Prevention Agenda priority for several Central New York counties. Visit the Oral Health topic page on HealtheCNY to: 
  • View data on water fluoridation, access to dental care, and dental disease
  • Compare oral health data indicators for your county to other local counties
  • Learn about activities related to oral health that are happening locally, and connect to these efforts
  • Find resources, best practices, and funding opportunities related to oral health promotion
For more information on HealtheCNY or HealtheConnections' Population Health Improvement work, please email 

New "Need Help?" Button Added to myConnections

A new feature in myConnections allows users to contact HealtheConnections Support if they have questions while using HealtheConnections services. When clicked, the "Need Help?" button, located under the news section, will open up a new email window that will automatically be addressed to Users can enter their question in the body of the email and send the message to Support for assistance.

As a reminder, patient information should not be included in any emails to HealtheConnections support. To discuss PHI, use Direct Mail ( or call Support at 315-671-2241 x5. 

Meaningful Use Incentive Program Update

Space is still available to join the Eligible Professional Expansion Program (EP2). HealtheConnections, as a Regional Extension Center (REC) agent, is administering this program. Participants are eligible for up to $3,500 in financial incentives, as well as Meaningful Use assistance and support.

Providers are considered eligible if they are enrolled as active fee-for-service Medicaid Providers, billable, and payable by Medicaid, and in good standing with New York state. These providers must meet the 30% patient encounter threshold as defined by CMS. 

The following types of medical professionals are eligible to participate in this program:
  • Specialist Physicians (MD and DO)
  • Primary Care Physicians that were excluded from previous REC programs
  • Dentists
  • Certified Nurse-Midwives
  • Physicians Assistants: If a FQHC or RHC is led by a Physician Assistant, that PA and all other PAs who practice at the FQHC/RHC are eligible
  • Pediatricians - have the reduced option of demonstrating 20-30% Medicaid patient volume, but will only receive 2/3 of the incentive payment when their percentage is below 30%

For more information, or to determine if you are eligible to participate in this program, contact Tim Kelly, Provider Engagement Specialist: 315-671-2241 x300 or 

*This information supports the Medicaid Eligible Professional Expansion Program (EP2) and Meaningful Use activities and adoption of electronic health records (EHR). Related content is presented on behalf of NYeC for the promotion of the EP2 program and Meaningful Use.

Additional Opportunity for Meaningful Use Hardship Exemption

On December 28, President Obama signed the Patient Access and Medicare Protection Act. Among several Medicare provisions in the law, the Act provides for a more streamlined approach to granting hardship exceptions for providers unable to attest to Meaningful Use for the current 2015 reporting period, avoiding a 3% Medicare payment adjustment in 2017.

The exemption is not automatic; Eligile Professionals (EPs) will need to apply for the exemption by March 15, 2016; Eligible Hospitals (EHs) have until April 1, 2016. Providers would need to submit that they didn't have time to properly attest, given that the Modified Stage 2 final rule was issued with less than 90 days remaining in the 2015 calendar year. (Even though the rule allows attestation for any continuous 90 days throughout 2015, Congressional sponsors of the Act felt that a lack of 90 days remaining was an undue burden.) The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has not posted the application on their website yet, but it is expected to be shared by mid-January. The attestation deadline of February 29, 2016 for the 2015 reporting year remains in effect.

Previously, in October, CMS announced that it was expanding the hardship exception for the same reasons. The CMS announcement stated:
  • "If a provider is unable to meet the requirements of Meaningful Use for an EHR reporting period in 2015 for reasons related to the timing of the publication of the final rule, a provider may apply for a hardship exception under the "extreme and uncontrollable" circumstances category. Each hardship exception application will be reviewed on a case-by-base basis, as required by law."
The new law seeks to streamline the "case-by-case" language and allows a more immediate granting of an exception.

Contact Tamie Kiniry, Provider Engagement Specialist, with questions: 315-671-2241 x350 or 

HealtheConnections is Hiring: Health Systems Improvement Analyst

HealtheConnections seeks a healthcare professional with direct clinical experience (RN, NP, PA, etc.) to serve on our Population Health Improvement team. This person will work to improve clinical outcomes through peer-to-peer academic detailing and practice facilitation with targeted healthcare providers and systems within a six county catchment area in Central New York (CNY) including Cayuga, Cortland, Herkimer, Oneida, Onondaga, and Oswego Counties. Interventions will focus on hypertension, type 2 diabetes, and/or people experiencing disproportionate risk for chronic disease because of racial/ethnic or socioeconomic disparities (inadequate access to care, poor quality of care, or low income).

To apply, send your resume and cover letter to and include the job title in the subject line of the email.

For more information about a career with HealtheConnections, visit

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HIE Adoption

Welcome New Participants

Auburn Pediatrics, PLLC

Herkimer County Public Health

Dermatology Associates of Central NY, PLLC

Eye Surgeons of CNY, PLLC

Compeer Inc. 

James V. Donovan, MD

Robert C. Cupelo, MD, PLLC

Sunnyside Care Center

North Country EMS

The Tully Hill Corporation

Fairgrounds Family Physicians, PLLC

New Hartford Chiropractic Associates, PC

Pulaski Urgent Care

HIE Statistics

555 Participating Organizations
  • Hospitals: 22
  • Practices: 287
  • Other Healthcare Entities: 230
  • Labs: 25 (includes 19 hospital laboratories)
  • Radiology: 28 (includes 18 hospital radiology centers)
December 2015 Statistics

Patient Lookup
  • Users Accessing HIE: 1,044
  • Log-ins: 12,784
  • Documents Viewed: 29,490
Results Delivery
  • Providers: 936
  • Documents Delivered: 64,446

Connected EHRs for Results Delivery

GE Centricity

Continuity of Care Document (CCD) Exchange

  • Practices sending CCDs: 73
  • Total CCDs received monthly: 152,232
Connected EHRs for CCD exchange:

GE Centricity
Greenway Intergy
Peer Place

EHRs in Process of Integration for CCD exchange:


(Under "Healthcare Providers")

Tel: (315) 671-2241
Support: (315) 671-2241 x5
Fax: (315) 407-0053

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