QHN eNews Update 
August, 2013

Fall MU Stage 2 Conference

QHN Fall Conference
Western slope Beacon Consortium featured in Colorado Medical Society official magazine for improvements in HIT & quality care.
Click below to read article.  

Update on the Colorado Health Insurance Exchange  

Starting in October, Coloradans will have a new way to shop for health insurance, the health insurance marketplace. Learn more in this Webinar: Tuesday August 6, 2013 - 12:30-1:30 pm.

Medicaid EHR Incentive Program Post Payment Audits 

The Colorado Department of Health Care Policy & Financing has contracted with Myers and Stauffer LC to conduct post-payment audits of the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program payments made to Eligible Hospitals (EH) and Eligible Professionals (EP). Each state is required to conduct post-payment reviews.


Learn more about the Post-Payment Audit process.

What EHR's are currently connected to the QHN HIE? 

EHR Connectivity Banner
QHN Vitals
June 2013 
  • 816 Licensed Providers
  • 1,469 Active Users
  • 56,808 VHR Queries
  • 215+ Clinical Data Bases 
  • 133,215 Lab Results
  • 26,704 Radiology Results
  • 73,906 Transcriptions Delivered
  • 21,275 Clinical Messages

QHN serves the western Colorado medical neighborhood. 

QHN Contact Information



Help Desk, Meaningful Use, Crimson Care Registry, Referral system


Mesa County Physicians IPA


Western Colorado IPA

Mesa County Medical Society

Mt. Sopris Medical Society

Rocky Mountain Health Plans
Practice Transformation Team

The Value of Health Information Exchange (HIE)- A Specialist's Perspective 

Dr. Spriggs Banner Final

 What value do physicians find in the available health information exchange technologies and how as it changed their clinical practice? Now that we are several years into the meaningful use program, which has financially incentivized physicians to go digital, what value have physicians realized in their approach to patient care is an intriguing question.  


In results released in early May, from annual survey by Accenture, they showcase that not only are the vast majority of US physicians (93 percent) utilizing EHR's, either in their practice or hospital setting, but the growing importance of health information exchange (HIE). The report noted that nearly half (45 percent) of physicians surveyed said they regularly access clinical data outside their own organization, representing a 32 percent increase from last year's study.


In the US, 62 percent of the physicians surveyed, receive clinical results that automatically populate their electronic health record (EHR) this is a 24 percent increase over the prior year. This is indicative of the rise of health information exchange participation across the country.  


The majority of physicians surveyed (74 percent) indicated that EHRs and HIE connectivity are integral to effective patient care today. The top benefits of connectivity to an HIE noted were, improved diagnostic decisions, improved quality of treatment decisions and a reduction in medical errors. With 65 percent reporting HIE improved both diagnostic decisions and the quality of treatment decisions and 75 percent noted a reduction in medical errors.


The results from the Accenture survey are similar to the benefits noted by Dr. Kurt Spriggs, a cardiologist in Grand Junction. "I query the VHR in the Hospital setting on virtually every patient I see. The VHR contains information that is just not accessible any other way, in the past we would wait 3-4 days to piece together the patient history and diagnostic information that is currently available instantly in the virtual health record  (VHR), this is a very tangible improvement in the diagnostic process and quality of patient care."


In western Colorado, with more than 800 licensed providers connected to the Quality Health Network (QHN) HIE and hospital connectivity at almost 100 percent, the value of physician connectivity continues to increase. "The value of connectivity to the HIE is definitely there and just going to expand. The antiquated paper systems just could not sustain the growth in volume of information, reporting requirements and accessibility to records" said Spriggs. "It is just so much quicker, safer and secure than the old way of transmitting records via paper. As a specialist, trying to piece together a patient history from many sources via faxed pieces of paper, was very time consuming and had great potential for a patient privacy breach. The VHR provides real-time information that can be drawn on, securely, in a timely fashion; this really improves quality of care."


Accenture's research findings are included in a US Country Profile and a summary report, The Digital Doctor is "In."

Stage 2 Meaningful Use & HIT Learning Lab to be the Focus of the QHN Fall Conference 

On October 4, 2013, QHN will offer an in-depth educational session on Meaningful Use (MU) Stage 2. With MU Stage 2 fast approaching QHN is here to help. As the western slope Regional Extension Center (REC) for MU, the QHN team has the background to help you be successful in achieving the MU milestones. These will be a working sessions, attendees should bring their MU User Guide to the conference. 


The afternoon gives participants the opportunity to select from four break-out session topics: Crimson Care Registry Learning Lab (population health management tool), Archimedes InidGO Learning Lab (risk stratification and predictive modeling tool), Hospital Specific MU stage 2, or Using your EHR for Quality Reporting.


Registration is now open, click here to view the full agenda and for more conference information. 

2013 Is a Critical Year for Physician Quality Reporting 

In order to avoid a 1.5% Medicare Part B negative payment adjustment in 2015, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is now requiring physicians to report clinical quality measures using the physician quality reporting system (PQRS). This year is a critical reporting year because lack of participation in 2013 means no PQRS incentive payments. It is not too late to qualify for incentive payments in 2013 and 2014 and avoid the impending penalties; compliance is very doable, even if you are not using an Electronic Health Record (EHR). 


PQRS can be implemented in five basic steps: 

  1. Determine eligibility. (Practice must see Medicare patients)
  2. Determine the reporting method which best fits your practice (There are 5 to choose from). 
  3. Determine which measure reporting option best fits your practice.
  4. Choose the measures the practice will report on. 
  5. Review the information regularly to be certain you are capturing the data accurately.

Quality improvement experts from Colorado's Medicare Quality Improvement Organization (CFMC) are working with Quality Health Network (QHN) to provide free educational sessions in western Colorado. These sessions will help you get started with PQRS reporting and explain reporting requirements and options. 

Two upcoming western Colorado educational sessions are planned:

CFMC is also available to provide free in-office support to help you select measures to report on and help you qualify for the incentive payment. CFMC is funded by CMS to help physician practices maximize their EHR systems at no cost to the physician or practice.  If you are interested in learning how CFMC can help, please contact Devin Detwiler.

Are you in the Process of Selecting a New EHR? 

AmericanEHR Partners has some great EHR resources. On their website you will find an easy to use info-graphic where you can do side-by-side EHR comparisons.


In collaboration with the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC), AmericanEHR Partners has established an interactive EHR resource where you can search results by attestation year, state, specialty, program (Medicare or Medicaid), ambulatory or inpatient setting, provider type, product classification (complete EHR or Modular EHR), and/or by specific EHR product. Once your search results are loaded you may sort by Product Name, Vendor, Average Satisfaction Rating or Number of Attestations. 


The raw data for these reports is pulled dynamically using the HealthData.gov API - this ensures that you have access to the most current MU attestation information available. 


To access the EHR Comparison Tool click on the AmericanEHR logo. 


To learn more about the EHR's connected to the QHN HIE, view the current Connectivity Matrix.