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Bronx RHIO Receives Health Care Innovation Award From HHS CMS Innovation Center

Regional Health Information Organization, With Partners Montefiore Medical Center, Bronx Community College and Weill Cornell Medical College, to Create New Informatics Center

Bronx, NY (June 27, 2012) -- The Bronx Regional Health Information Organization (RHIO) has received a  $12.8 million Health Care Innovation Award from the Health and Human Services (HHS) CMS Innovation Center.  These funds will be used to create the Bronx Regional Informatics Center (BRIC), a new program using information as the driver to improve patient outcomes, reduce the cost of care and train health care workers to coordinate quality improvement efforts.

This new program, estimated to save $15 million in Medicaid and Medicare costs over three years, will develop data registries and predictive systems to facilitate early care interventions and enable providers to better manage care for high-risk, high-cost patients.   Montefiore Medical Center, which was instrumental in the creation of the RHIO in 2006 and has consistently taken a leadership role in its development, will provide its internally-developed, innovative software tool, Clinical Looking Glass, to transform raw health record data into analyzed, well organized information that will be used by participating healthcare providers in the care and care management of their patients.

“The Bronx RHIO integrates vital health information at point of care across the Bronx, improving the healthcare we provide to patients who entrust us with their care,” said Steven M. Safyer, MD, President and CEO of Montefiore Medical Center.  “The CMS Innovation Grant will allow us to enhance the RHIO system to equip us with the tools to proactively improve the quality and cost of care, engage our patients more effectively and improve the patient experience.”

“We are pleased that CMS recognized the impact the RHIO is making on healthcare in the Bronx,” said Charles Scaglione, Executive Director of the Bronx RHIO. “This award and Montefiore’s unique technology will enable all RHIO members to move forward to a new level of management efforts by adding advanced analytics to its existing methods.”  

Bronx RHIO is a partnership of more than 40 hospitals, health systems, ambulatory care centers, long term care, home care and independent providers and community based organizations in the Bronx. In addition to Montefiore, RHIO leadership includes Bronx Community Health Network, Inc., Bronx Lebanon Hospital Center, Institute for Family Health, James J. Peters VA Medical Center, Jewish Home Lifecare, Morris Heights Health Center, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, St. Barnabas Hospital, Urban Health Plan, Visiting Nurse Service of New York and 1199 SEIU.

The Bronx RHIO is one of 107 recipients of the Health Care Innovation Awards made possible by the Affordable Care Act. The awards will support innovative projects nationwide designed to deliver high-quality medical care, enhance the health care workforce and save money. 

“Thanks to the health care law, we are giving people in local communities the resources they need to make our health care system stronger,” said HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius.

The awards are notable for their geographic diversity; projects will be located in urban and rural areas, all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. 

The Bronx RHIO encompass 80 percent of the Bronx’s health care providers (including hospitals, primary care providers, home health agencies and long term care institutions), 50 percent of the borough’s practicing physicians and two-thirds of all inpatient care by Bronx residents.  The target population to be reached is the 350,000 Bronx residents who have consented to have their health information shared through the RHIO, which represents 25% of the 1.4 million Bronx residents, and which grows daily as member providers obtain patient consent for shared information access. Over a three-year period, The Bronx RHIO will create an estimated 30 jobs, including positions for intervention team members and community health advocates.

A leader in integrating technology into patient care, Montefiore has documented patient information using electronic medical records (EMRs) for more than 10 years. Montefiore is aggressively moving forward to develop innovative technologies to support accountable care and patient-centered medical home initiatives and building mobile applications and social media strategies to connect to its patients.