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HealtheNews: June 2015 Issue


        In This Issue:

  • "Are You HealtheConnected?" Syracuse Provider Forum Highlights; More Events Coming in June
  • Population Health Improvement Regional Advisory Committee Formed
  • HIE Clinical Data Warehouse Operational
  • EHR Adoption and Meaningful Use Services Incentive Programs
  • HealtheCNY Website to Be Launched
  • YMCA and HealtheConnections Partner for Clinic-to-Community Listening Forum
  • HealtheConnections Launches Worksite Wellness Initiative
  • HealtheConnections Welcomes New Team Member
  • New HealtheConnections Participants Announced
  • May HIE Statistics

"Are You HealtheConnected?" Syracuse Provider Forum Highlights; More Events Coming in June

A music video started off the night's festivities on Thursday, May 28 at the Syracuse HealtheConnections Provider Forum. Dr. Mickey Lebowitz and some of the Crouse Hospital staff recorded a song to highlight the benefits of participating with HealtheConnections (click here to view the video). 
RHIO Music Video Screengrab_jpg

Following the video, the 50 attendees heard from a regional provider panel - made up of Dr. Dave Page, Dr. David Wormuth, and Dr. Mickey Lebowitz - on the topics of reducing costs, improving the patient experience, and improving the quality of care. Dr. Jef Sneider and Karen Romano of HealtheConnections provided a demonstration of the HIE and HealtheConnections services. The very interactive audience asked questions and shared their own positive experiences using the HIE.

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Dr. Dave Page, Dr. David Wormuth, Dr. Mickey Lebowitz, and Dr. Jef Sneider

Provider Forum Audience

Attendees listen to panelists at the Syracuse Provider Forum

Highlights include:

  • Dr. Dave Page: EHRs can be a tool, even under the old fee-for-service system, for maximizing income by capturing all charges and by reducing office expenses. In addition, using the RHIO can allow doctors to get information about their patients more efficiently - avoiding faxes, phone calls, and the time lag that comes with those technologies.
  • Dr. David Wormuth: Patient satisfaction is improved when patients feel that their doctor knows what is going on and is connected. The health information exchange (HIE) saves patients the extra trip to the lab for testing, which they appreciate. They are more sensitive to preventing duplicate testing. The shift is from volume care to value care.
  • Dr. Mickey Lebowitz: It is no longer enough to just provide "good" patient care. You need to be able to provide good care and connect the patient with the resources they need, communicating with other providers of care about what you did. It is all about connections!
Special thanks to: Dr. Dave Page, Dr. David Wormuth, Dr. Mickey Lebowitz, Dr. Jef Sneider, and the Onondaga County Medical Society.

The next Provider Forum event will be held in Ithaca on Tuesday, June 16 from 5:45-7:30 p.m. at the Cayuga Medical Center - Howell Conference Room. RSVP by Friday, June 12 to HealtheConnections at: (Please include "Ithaca Event" in your reply). Panelists include Dr. Martin Stallone, Dr. John-Paul Mead, and Dr. David Page.

Can't make it to the Ithaca event? Look for more info on June events in Utica and Watertown, coming soon!

Population Health Improvement Regional Advisory Committee Formed

The Population Health Improvement team held their first Regional Advisory Committee meeting on Wednesday, May 27. This group is composed of thought leaders and subject matter experts from the six counties covered by the Central New York Population Health Improvement Program (PHIP). Moving forward, members of the Regional Advisory Committee will:
  • Advise HealtheConnections as we identify and prioritize where to add value and build capacity
  • Leverage their networks to connect HealtheConnections to others working in the region
  • Share information about our population health work and opportunities to connect with us
We are pleased to announce the following members of our Regional Advisory Committee:

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HIE Clinical Data Warehouse Operational

One of the key assets of HealtheConnections is the clinical data managed through the health information exchange (HIE). Each and every day, HealtheConnections integrates, organizes, consolidates, and sends medical records on over 1.2 million patients across 11 counties. Data such as patient demographics, healthcare provider visits, images, laboratory results, medications, diagnoses, progress reports, social histories, and more are the foundation for the services provided by HealtheConnections. These individual pieces of data are useful for treating the patient but can also be used for regional population health improvement.

HealtheConnections has created a clinical data warehouse of HIE data. The data that is maintained in the HIE will be aggregated and summarized in the Data Warehouse to create meaningful information that can be displayed in reports, graphs, pie charts, and more. This capability will allow HealtheConnections participants to view community-wide measures about the patient population by age, gender, diagnoses, visit types, and other criteria. For more information on HealtheConnections Analytics & Reporting service, click here.

EHR Adoption and Meaningful Use Services Incentive Programs

As the Regional Extension Center for Central and Northern New York, HealtheConnections offers assistance to its participants who qualify for and participate in incentive programs. The Provider Engagement team at HealtheConnections can help your organization with the following incentive programs:

Data Exchange Incentive Program
Increasing Medicaid provider participation in the Health Information Exchange

HealtheConnections is encouraging participation in this NYS DOH sponsored program to eligible providers throughout our 11-county region. The program is designed to help defray the cost of connecting to the SHIN-NY by establishing bi-directional electronic exchange of at least 5 of 7 identified clinical data elements by September 30, 2015. Starting October 1, 2014, enrollment opened to all organizations that have Medicaid eligible providers. Currently there are 13 organizations, utilizing 8 different EHRs, taking advantage of this opportunity. Incentives available total up to $30,000 for qualifying organizations. The program runs through September 30, 2015.

Eligible Professionals Expansion Program (EP2)
An incentive program for healthcare professionals providing services to Medicaid patients

HealtheConnections, in conjunction with NYS DOH and CMS, is supporting an incentive program to healthcare professionals providing services to Medicaid patients. The EP2 program includes support for Medicaid Eligible Professionals who plan to achieve the goal of attesting for Meaningful Use Stage 1 (MU1) or who are preparing to attest for Meaningful Use Stage 2 (MU2) and who use health information exchange to support care coordination activities. Currently there are more than 450 providers participating in this program, taking advantage of the additional incentives of up to $3,500. The program runs through September 30, 2016. 

Medicare EHR Hardship Application Deadline
Eligible healthcare providers who have not successfully participated in the Medicare EHR Incentive Program in 2014 will begin to receive payment adjustments from CMS on January 1, 2016. However, CMS recently announced that Medicare Eligible Professionals may be able to avoid the payment penalty if they apply for 2016 hardship exemption by July 1 of this year. On the CMS website under its EHR Incentive Programs page, both individuals and Medicare Eligible Professionals can access applications and instructions for the 2016 hardship exemption.

Please contact HealtheConnections to find out if you are eligible for these programs or for more information: (315) 671-2241 x5 or

HealtheCNY Website to Be Launched

HealtheConnections is pleased to announce the upcoming launch of HealtheCNY, an interactive website with resources to support population health improvement work in Central New York. The site will include: 
  • Tools for accessing and manipulating health and health-related data for Central New York
  • A searchable database of best practices
  • Local programs and projects in each Central New York county
  • Collaboration centers to maximize opportunities for partnership
The initial launch will focus on health professional information. HealtheCNY will evolve to include valuable information for consumers and providers.

Look for HealtheCNY to launch in September 2015.

YMCA and HealtheConnections Partner for Community Listening Forum

YMCA logoIn June, the YMCA and HealtheConnections will bring local stakeholders together in a Listening Forum to solicit input on how to improve connections between healthcare and community-based services. The event will inform local health system transformation efforts, including the Central New York Care Collaborative's DSRIP work, the Population Health Improvement Program (PHIP), the State Health Innovation Plan (SHIP), and activities related to achieving Prevention Agenda goals. The Listening Forum is supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the National YMCA.

HealtheConnections Launches Worksite Wellness Initiative For Its Employees

Creating a healthy work environment, where many adults spend much of their day, is an important step in helping people be healthier. By encouraging physical activity, healthy eating, and a culture of health, employers can increase productivity and reduce healthcare costs. With this in mind, HealtheConnections recently launched its own Worksite Wellness Initiative. 

To date, HealtheConnections has appointed a wellness coordinator, established a Wellness Committee, inventoried staff regarding potential wellness efforts, and created a comprehensive wellness plan. The wellness plan outlines several strategies to address physical activity, healthy eating and the wellness culture of the organization. Activities include: standing desks, taking the stairs, a focus on nutritious snacks, CPR training class, and more. 

"Our employees are our greatest assets. Being healthy maintains a positive and productive work environment," says Rob Hack, Executive Director.

In addition to improving the health and wellness of the employees, the wellness plan also offers a road map to reaching the American Heart Association's Fit Friendly "Gold Level" designation for worksite wellness. Through this effort, HealtheConnections will join the ranks of over 4,500 worksites nationwide participating in the Fit Friendly program who have committeed to helping their employees have longer, healthier lives. For more information on Fit Friendly, visit 

HealtheConnections Welcomes New Team Member

HealtheConnections welcomes a new member to our growing team:

Eileen Begley joins HealtheConnections as a Provider Engagement Specialist. She has an extensive health care background, with a focus in Emergency Medical Services. Throughout her experiences, she has developed a strong interest in streamlining medical care and improving patient-provider communication. Eileen earned her Bachelor of Arts from Vanderbilt University. 

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HIE Adoption

Welcome New Participants

Retina -Vitreous Surgeons of Central NY, PC

Seneca Hill Manor, Inc.

Oswego Industries

David D. Speck, MD

Hospice & Palliative Care of St. Lawrence Valley

NYSARC, Inc. Oswego County Chapter

CNY Spine & Pain Medicine, LLC

Access to Home Care Services

HIE Statistics

HealtheConnections has reached over 1 million unique patient consents!

465 Participating Organizations
  • Hospitals: 20
  • Practices: 290
  • Other Healthcare Entities: 143
  • Labs: 20
  • Radiology: 24
May 2015 Statistics

Patient Lookup
  • Users Accessing HIE: 972
  • Log-ins: 11,487
  • Documents Viewed: 25,221

Results Delivery
  • Providers: 826
  • Documents Delivered: 59,874
Connected EHRs

GE Centricity

Continuity of Care Document (CCD) Exchange

  • Practices sending CCDs: 58
  • Total CCDs received monthly: 128,309
Connected EHRs for CCD exchange:

GE Centricity

(Under "Healthcare Providers")

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

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