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September 2020

Post date: 2020-09-29T09:53:58-05:00

Little Rock, AR--September 2020

“Arkansas Family Care Network of clinics are excited to be a part of the SHARE network. Their vast health information exchange network allows the networks’ patients to connect with the resources that they need,” says Terrah Patton, Director, Information Systems, EngageMED. “Our mission at EngageMED is to provide innovative, value-based practice management and revenue cycle services to providers we engage.  To reach excellence in everything we do, EngageMED's foundation revolves around four core values which SHARE is assisting our clinics meet.”

“SHARE also allows Arkansas Family Care Network of clinics to meet patient centered medical homes (PCMH) programs and our integrated network stronger as we track high-priority patients, following up with patients within 10 days and knowing high utilizers of the emergency department, whether it is at Saline Memorial Health System, Arkansas Children’s Hospital, Conway Regional Health System, CHI St. Vincent, UAMS Health or Baptist Health ”, added Terrah Patton.  

In Arkansas, where many large and small health systems use disparate EHR systems, including Central Arkansas, this is a particularly important milestone because the single interface to SHARE will allow providers the clinic locations and staff to access laboratory results, radiology reports, progress notes, discharge summaries from outside hospitals and specialty clinics. The clinics referral network care teams can now also view the patient data, as data is flowing from Allscripts interface to SHARE in real-time. Also, access to real-time and historical patient health information through the SHARE Virtual Health Record (VHR) includes:

  • Admission, Discharge and Transfer Data, Allergies, Problems, Medications, Vitals, Social History
  • Demographic, Insurance, and Past Provider Information, Laboratory Results, Radiology Reports, Pathology Reports
  • Discharge Summaries, Continuity of Care Documents, Progress Notes and SDOH

SHARE provides all seven clinic locations with near real-time clinical data such as hospital admissions and discharges, allergies, medications, lab results, diagnostic results, and procedures from acute care hospitals and more than 1,000 non- Arkansas Family Care Network clinics.

“Arkansas Family Care Network clinics is a strategic partner in the SHARE network dedicated to improving care management and business operations,” said Anne Santifer, Director of Office of Health Information Technology. “Arkansas Family Care Network clinic’s trusts and relies on our secure data exchange to enhance its population health reporting and improve outcomes at the community level.”

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A strong primary care infrastructure is an essential part of the effective delivery of quality, patient-centered healthcare in the United States.

As an example, primary care physicians provide 52 percent of all ambulatory care visits, 80 percent of patient visits for hypertension and 69 percent of visits for both chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and diabetes. These figures only serve to accentuate the hallmarks of primary care medicine — first contact care, continuity of care, comprehensive care and coordinated care — and reinforce the importance of a strong, viable primary care network.

Unfortunately, many primary care physicians today find themselves spending more time with management issues than with patients and are unable to enjoy the quality of practice life they so desire.

Simply put, administrative burdens are unnecessarily limiting many physicians’ ability to provide quality patient care and at the same time meet an increasing demand for time for family and personal life.

We believe the answer is the Arkansas Family Care Network.

AFCN is a group of associated, yet independent medical practices that share a common direction, billing and collections, employee administration, electronic medical records and financial data through a single management company staffed with some of the nation’s most outstanding healthcare administration professionals.

And although we share much in common, we also stress independence. AFCN physicians are not told what to do and when to do it. By associating with an independent network, you will remain in control of your own practice, yet can exchange practice enhancement ideas with other like-minded physicians.

Utilizing the management services provided by AFCN will allow you to concentrate on the physician-patient relationship and spend more worry-free time with family and friends away from the office, resulting in a better quality of life both in and out of the clinic setting.

Post date: 2020-09-22T09:00:00-05:00

September 2020

With our country in the heart of a global pandemic, keeping a close tab on its patients in real-time is now even more critical for the medical teams at ARcare. Alarming headlines about coronavirus “hot spots” and community outbreaks have caused many federally qualified health centers (FQHC) facilities across the nation to focus more on populations with underlying health conditions that naturally increases the risk of infection spread. With the use of the State Health Alliance for Records Exchange (SHARE), ARcare has had continued access to recent laboratory results, radiology results, discharge summaries, updated patient demographics, recent vitals, allergies, and continuity of care documents (CCDAs).

Pairing quality care with the latest advances in interoperability, ARcare offers medical services across Arkansas, Kentucky, and Mississippi for every family member. This continued commitment aims to provide the most effective, compassionate care possible to reflect this commitment daily. ARcare focuses on a range of services, including behavioral health, women’s health, cardiology, and primary care, regardless of patients’ ability to pay. Extending over three decades, this tradition of care and trust defines ARcares’ work and lets them focus on what matters most: the health of their patients in which they serve.

“I’m a huge advocate for SHARE,” said Dr. Steven Collier, MD, CEO. “ARcare covers Arkansas, Mississippi and Kentucky with board-certified family care providers, community health centers, and the very latest in medical technology, ARcare partners with our patients from rearing to retirement, assuring all members of the family are provided the absolute best in healthcare and SHARE assists our clinics in doing this on a daily basis”, said Collier.

 

Lauren Fields BSN, RN, Chief Nursing Officer, and care teams across three states helps patients and their families navigate what to expect and how to prepare for a transition from a hospital or home setting while visiting an ARcare facility. She says SHARE’s Virtual Health Record (VHR) patient lookup tool has always been valuable, but the addition of COVID-19 reports makes it a true game changer for her and team. The tools, including COVID-19 Lab Notifications and SHARE 24-hour daily reports on emergency room and inpatient discharges, not only helps with existing patients but also patients referred at any ARcare location.

Before the pandemic, ARcare visited newly transitioned patients in person at each clinic to make sure they were well, but many patients are electing for tele-health for the time being. For patients without strong family networks it has been difficult to miss out making a personal connection, so she relies on SHARE integration with their EMR Greenway Intergy to follow their progress.

“SHARE lets us look at a broader picture of our patients,” she says. “We can see the whole perspective; we’re able to look at how we can accurately piece together the patients’ medical concerns and rehospitalizations, and ensure our medical treatments are safe and effective.” she adds, “The addition of the COVID-19 information was wonderful. Most facilities that we use are on SHARE, so we are able to follow that and see real-time information about tests and their results, and then look at the trends history to see what’s really going on with our patients.”

Outside of the COVID-19 insights, she said access to discharge summaries about a patient’s progress (such as results from breathing treatments) within SHARE has helped their care teams better understand their patients’ needs and develop individualized treatments.  She also touts the tools’ benefits of accessing patient information when treating new patients via tele-health; this allows ARcare to access the patients previous medical history with new or newly established patients that are unable to provide an accurate health history.

About ARcare:  For over thirty years, ARcare has instilled commitment, compassion, and trust throughout Arkansas, Kentucky, and Mississippi. Beginning in 1986 with Dr. Steven Collier’s unquestionable mandate to serve “the least, the last, and the lost,” ARcare has brought superior healthcare to patients, regardless of their ability to pay.

ARcare's mission is to ensure patients can benefit from affordable, routine medical care comes from the vision of CEO Dr. Steven Collier. In 1986, Dr. Collier aimed to ensure that patients in rural Arkansas could get quality medical care, and he has helped provide access to healthcare for patients throughout the tri-state area ever since. Services include primary care, behavioral health, pharmacies, community outreach programs, and more.

Although ARcare is not a free clinic, it is a federally qualified health center (FQHC) with discounted rates, so all the residents of these areas can receive the care they need. They see patients with insurance, without insurance, and with not enough coverage. They see all who need healthcare. With board-certified family care providers, community health centers, and the very latest in medical technology, ARcare partners with  patients from rearing to retirement, assuring all members of the family are provided the absolute best in healthcare.

Mission: “Health for All”

With a focus on customer health, community health, employee health, and organizational health, ARcare's mission of “health for all” is at the core of everything we do. Their services aim to help improve the well-being of our local communities by ensuring community members do not have to postpone or forego medical services they need. With their sliding scale fees and commitment to offering affordable care, all members of  local communities can receive timely care for health issues, routine medical exams, and tests for optimal health.

Values: ARcare’s vision is to be the largest primary care provider in the South, the provider of first choice in communities, and a national leader of community health centers. ARcare’s values are to guide employees in providing superior service while fulfilling our mission and achieving our vision.

  • Stewardship – Valuing our resources daily to ensure our mission tomorrow.
  • Positive Attitude – Empowering employees to create an energetic work environment.
  • Integrity – Honesty, ethics, and dedication in all we do.
  • Respect – Appreciating all people, work, and ideas.
  • Improvement – Continually striving for performance excellence.
  • Teamwork – Achieving our goals together

Learn More: https://www.arcare.net/

Post date: 2020-09-11T13:11:56-05:00

So, what is interoperability and why is it important in Healthcare? “Interoperability” is the ability for Healthcare technology systems and devices to exchange, interpret, and store data using common standards.

SHARE is Prepared to Help Hospital Systems Comply with CMS, ONC Final Interoperability Rule

2020: CMS and ONC issued final interoperability, Information Blocking and the ONC Health IT final rules March 9; majority of the regulations are effective Spring 2021. Deadlines were recently rolled back to allow more time, as resources are targeted into COVID-19 pandemic response (CMS Interoperability and Patient Access Final Rule).

Comply with “Final Interoperability” Rules: State Health Alliance for Records Exchange (SHARE) is here for you, ready to support health care providers who administer care to Arkansas residents. SHARE is prepared to help participants comply and implement our health information exchange (HIE) data exchange to make protected patient health information more accessible. SHARE is offering incentives to offset costs to hospitals and health systems for participating in the SHARE network by November 2020 and sharing data connections by April 2021.

  • The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) finalized rules March 9, 2020, requiring major changes for payers and hospitals to provide patients unprecedented safe access to their own health information.
  • The rules address interoperability, information blocking, patient access to data and electronic health record (EHR) certification. In most cases, compliance calls for implementing significant data transparency requirements. CMS mandates hospitals and health systems to send admissions, discharge, and transfer (ADT) notifications as soon as possible.
  • Effective Spring 2021, hospitals must electronically send admission, discharge and transfer (ADT) alerts to community providers when patients are seen in the emergency department or admitted to, discharged, and/or transferred from the hospital to another community provider or practitioner. ADT alerts improve care quality and reduce readmissions.
    • SHARE ADT Notifications further help primary care providers keep track of patients during public health crises, most notably the COVID-19 pandemic. 
    • CMS is now requiring these hospitalization alerts as a condition of participation in Medicare and Medicaid. In addition, other time-sensitive requirements include: By May 1, 2021, hospitals must start sending ADT notifications to patients’ physicians. Payers have until July 1, 2021 to comply.
    • In late-2021, CMS will start publicly reporting the identity of clinicians, hospitals and critical access hospitals practicing information blocking (broadly defined as practices that are likely to interfere with, prevent, or materially discourage the access, exchange, or use of electronic health information).

Condition of Participation/Admission, Discharge & Transfer (ADT) Notifications: This rule requires hospitals, including psychiatric hospitals and critical access hospitals, to send notifications that must include at least a patient name, treating practitioner name and sending institution name. The health system will send notification at the time of registration at the emergency department; admission to the hospital’s inpatient services; the patient’s discharge or transfer from hospital’s emergency department; the patient’s discharge or transfer from hospital’s inpatient services. This requirement is effective May 1, 2021. SHARE already offers event notification services to its participants. This federal regulation is achieved by SHARE participants sending their ADT information to SHARE and SHARE delivering event notification service through (NexGen Healthcare Solutions, Mirth Connect).

To view the CMS Interoperability and Patient Access final rule, visit: https://www.cms.gov/Regulations-and-Guidance/Guidance/Interoperability/index