HealtheConnections is reaffirming its commitment to high standards of data quality by participating in a Data Aggregation Validation (DAV) certification process from the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA). In partnership with the NCQA and three other health information exchanges (HIEs), HealtheConnections helped develop the program to facilitate the exchange of aggregated clinical data for use in HEDIS® and other quality reporting efforts. The below article directly from NCQA explains in more detail.
The program enables more data and more data sources to be trusted, useful, and comparable, resulting in decreased burden, more streamlined processes between healthcare segments and improved care quality.
NCQA’s DAV program evaluates the ingestion, transformation and output of clinical data to support data integrity. This gives health plans, government entities and care delivery organizations confidence in the validity of the clinical data they are using for quality reporting, value-based contracting, closing gaps in care and other initiatives.
“We invested heavily over the past two decades to digitize clinical data in this country, and we aren’t yet getting full value from that investment because the data are inconsistent, incomplete and unvalidated,” said Brad Ryan, MD, Chief Product Officer of NCQA. “NCQA’s Data Aggregator Validation program brings trust, comparability and utility to clinical data streams for use in HEDIS and beyond.”
The program also saves organizations time and money as part of the Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS®) reporting process. Data from health information exchanges, care delivery organizations and other data aggregators are increasingly used as supplemental data for HEDIS reporting. Data streams validated by NCQA through the NCQA Data Aggregator Validation program can be used as standard supplemental data in HEDIS reporting, eliminating the need for primary source verification during the HEDIS audit process and saving time and money for provider organizations and health plans.
Four organizations had data streams validated as part of the pilot and early adopter programs: Hixny, HealtheConnections, HEALTHeLINK and Manifest MedEx.
Rob Hack, President and CEO, HealtheConnections, said, “The Data Aggregator Validation program is important to HealtheConnections and our participants, particularly clinical practices and health plans because it provides real value in support of our ongoing work in quality measurement. Additionally, the program demonstrates HealtheConnections’ commitment to data quality, data governance and process that expands beyond the realm of quality measurement.”
NCQA is validating data streams through a series of cohorts. The first began in July and included data streams from the four organizations mentioned above, as well as new participants Azara Healthcare LLC, COZEVA® by Applied Research Works, Inc., CyncHealth, Diameter Health, Healthix, HealthShare Exchange, Kansas Health Information Network, Inc. d/b/a KONZA, KPI Ninja, Los Angeles Network for Enhanced Services (LANES), Stellar Health and the Wisconsin Statewide Health Information Network (WISHIN).
“We are proud to partner with NCQA in leading this important transformation effort to streamline data sharing and provide high-quality data for health plans and providers,” said Claudia Williams, CEO of Manifest MedEx. “Reducing the burden of HEDIS reporting enables plans and providers to focus on what matters most—caring for patients and their communities.”
This program is part of a broader initiative at NCQA to help make quality measurement easier, more trusted and more relevant. NCQA is partnering with QMetrics to validate data streams in two cohorts in 2021. More than 40 organizations have already requested to apply to the program. The first data streams will begin earning validation this fall. To learn more, contact NCQA to speak to a programming expert.
NCQA is a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to improving health care quality. NCQA Accredits and Certifies a wide range of health care organizations. It also recognizes clinicians and practices in key areas of performance. NCQA’s Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS®) is the most widely used performance measurement tool in health care. NCQA’s website (ncqa.org) contains information to help consumers, employers and others make informed health care choices. NCQA can also be found at Twitter @ncqa, on Facebook at facebook.com/NCQA.org/ and on LinkedIn at linkedin.com/company/ncqa.
At HealtheConnections, we strive to offer healthcare providers with the connections they need to provide better patient care. By giving clinicians the tools they need in order to have easy access to their patient’s information, HealtheConnections helps bridge the gap between the patient, the healthcare organization, and the entire community.
One organization that fully utilizes the many opportunities HealtheConnections provides is Sullivan County Public Health. We spoke with Epidemiologist Haley Motola, MS to learn more about how Sullivan County Public Health benefits from our services.
Motola explained that the Health Department is comprised of a Certified Home Health Agency, an Epidemiology Department, the Early Intervention Program, Healthy Families of Sullivan, and Public Health Education and that they offer Public Health Nursing-visiting nursing, occupational therapy, physical therapy, childhood immunization clinics, adult immunization clinics, disease education and prevention promotion, rabies reporting, childhood lead poisoning prevention, and many other public services.
“The staff working within all of the Sullivan County Department of Public Health Programs help those who would otherwise have difficulty accessing care and are vital to our community health,” Motola said, adding that the overall goal of her department specifically is to prevent the spread of infectious agents and environmental concerns that harm human health and wellness.
How does HealtheConnections come into play within Motola’s department? “I use HealtheConnections every day to complete infectious disease investigations. I am able to access information such as illness onset, pre-existing conditions, notification of the patient of the diagnosis, symptoms, medication prescribed and provider contact information and more,” she said. She also indicated that HealtheConnections helps her organization locate information that can be difficult to obtain, such as insurance coverage and next-of-kin.
She also said that often, the patients they work with have provided a more thorough view of their disease progression to their provider or their local emergency department. They may not be able to recall all the pertinent details when Motola’s department investigates, which can negatively impact the investigation. “HealtheConnections has reduced the impact that recall bias has on important investigations by providing information from the patient at the time of the illness, instead of relying solely on recollection,” said Motola.
Time is frequently of the essence when it comes to disease investigation, and Motola is pleased that the services offered by HealtheConnections have cut down on that time. “I used to spend a great deal of time trying to find out information from providers on the phone. With HealtheConnections, I am able to spend more time talking to the patient during the investigation, with more lab information and diagnostic transcriptions. Having faster and more timely information has been the absolute most beneficial aspect of HealtheConnections within our department.”
How Sun River Health Uses HealtheConnections
HealtheConnections recently had the opportunity to work with Sun River Health, a Federally Qualified Health Center and one of the nation’s largest community health providers. Sun River Health was awarded a grant centered on creating a dashboard that would, of many things, help lower readmission rates and schedule follow-ups after an ED visit. One of the goals was to implement an alerting system in which secure files would be sent as an alert to their dashboard. HealtheConnections was able to assist by quickly setting up its daily digest alerting function through Sun River Health’s dashboard.
This is just one example of how organizations like yours can use HealtheConnections and the health information exchange to improve care.
Like all of our core HIE services, it is FREE.
If you are interested in learning more about HealtheConnections Alerts, or any other services we offer, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
For a busy care manager, coordinating medical treatments, including administering assessments, developing care plans, and monitoring medication compliance to advocate for a patient’s health is no easy task.
Care managers serve as the main point of contact between the patient and practice and need to get in touch with various people to coordinate a patient’s care. But getting the right person on the phone or through email can be a challenge.
With HealtheConnections, care managers can view a patient’s medical summary, including provider notes, discharge information, medications, allergies, and more, all in one place.
No faxing. No calling. No waiting.
Care Managers leverage HealtheConnections’ services to:
“HealtheConnections is a huge part of follow-up. If there is a patient who is not in our hospital system, we can log into the myConnections portal, see why the patient was there, view provider notes, and receive discharge information all in one place. That way, we know what steps to take upon their discharge and assist the patient with any needed follow-up.”
-Care Manager Coordinator, St. Joseph’s Health
This is just one example of how your staff can use HealtheConnections and the health information exchange to improve care.
Like all of our core HIE services, it is at no cost.
If you are interested in learning more about HealtheConnections and the services we offer, email us at email@example.com