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Quality Health Network eNewsletter
January, 2014
QHN Offers HISP Services

What is a HISP?

The term Health Information Service Provider (HISP) is used to both describe a function, the management of security and transport for secure (Direct) message exchange, and an organizational model - an organization that performs HISP functions.


Why is HISP Important to the Meaningful Use Process?

Health Information Service Providers (HISPs) will play an essential role in achieving the Meaningful Use Stage 2 (MU2), core objective on transitions of care. This objective incentivizes providers to use a summary of care record (CCD or C-CDA) for referrals between settings of care. Both  Eligible Hospitals (EHs) and Eligible Professionals (EPs) are required to send a summary of care record for more than 50% of referrals or care transitions - and 10% of those must be done electronically.


This standard focuses on the movement of the patient, and the secure movement of care information, from one setting to another. The HISP functions as an electronic middleman, allowing a particular EHR system to communicate with technology outside of its network - that is, where the real exchange of health information takes place.



Most EHR vendors have their own inclusive HISP as part of their MU2 certification, but it is not required to use this HISP for MU2. Even though your EHR may have built-in messaging software, with the option to send a summary of care document with a referral, you will still potentially need a HISP in order to assure the secure delivery of the message in a "digestible" format for the intended recipient. The true intent of this MU objective is to improve the quality of care by managing care transitions. The information your EHR is sending to the recipient needs to be consumable and usable by the receiver.


Many variables exist in this exchange such as disparate EHR systems, different sending and receiving capabilities, and different workflows and preferences. The potential for the information to be "lost in translation" and not easy to use for the providers and systems exists. QHN can support your practice to encrypt, send, de-crypt, translate and ensure that the messages are send and received according to capabilities and preferences in our region.   


QHN's HISP Services

As an eHealth Exchange Participant, and with the robust network QHN has established in the western Colorado medical trade area, QHN is soundly positioned to provide HISP services. The QHN network of connected hospitals, healthcare service providers and EHR interfaces touches more than 87 percent of all western Colorado providers. If you are working towards Meaningful Use, QHN can work with you and your EHR vendor or HISP to provide HISP, or HISP to HISP (hub) services.


Please tell us more about your HISP needs and plans take our quick, 6 question survey.

Reicks' Mesa County IPA President Legacy:

A tenure of unprecedented challenges  

Mesa County Physicians IPA President Dr. Greg Reicks presided over his last IPA annual meeting last Tuesday, January 21st. There's no doubt that during his three terms as president - almost 10 years - Reicks faced challenges unlike any IPA president before him. The changes prompted by the implementation of the Electronic Health Records Incentive Programs (Meaningful Use), the evolution in payment models (ACO's, etc.) and the Affordable Care Act just to name a few, created a rapidly shifting healthcare landscape during his terms in office.


Dr. Reicks reflected on his tenure with us during a brief interview.


"The biggest challenge I faced was to balance the organizational needs with the individual physician needs. I always had to step back and think big picture, what is best for the IPA and our community as we move forward with care models and payment reform," Reicks said. He said "it's a difficult balance with all the diversity of interests to build consensus and be inclusive."


IPA Secretary/ Treasurer, Dr. Charles Breaux Jr., MD as worked side-by-side with Reicks, as an IPA member for the last 16 years and serving on the board for 2 years and on the executive committee this past year. "Dr. Reicks has worked to keep the IPA strong and maintain its identity. His firm but laid back approach has helped him cross lines between all providers, build bridges within the IPA and has helped the IPA maintain its identity and protect the physician's interests," said Breaux.


In order to retain and built on Reicks' IPA leadership expertise a newly created position, Chief Medical Director, has been created. Reicks will serve in this role where he will maintain many of his current duties and focus on monitoring new leadership within the organization.


Reicks sees new challenges going forward representing all IPA members' interests with many local physicians' no longer independent practitioners. "The providers have always understood the value of our relationship with Rocky Mountain Health Plans, a local health plan with which we have shared goals. We have always tried to be innovative to achieve the common goal of the Triple Aim - the best care for the whole population at the lowest cost - the change in the local dynamics will hold some interesting challenges." 

New Proposed MU Timeline Does Not Delay the Start of Stage 2

Since the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act was signed into law, we have seen unprecedented growth in the adoption and meaningful use of electronic health records (EHRs). As of October 2013, 85 percent of eligible hospitals and more than six in 10 eligible professionals had received a Medicare or Medicaid EHR incentive payment.


In December, 2013 the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) proposed a new timeline for the implementation of meaningful use for the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs.


Under the revised timeline, Stage 2 will be extended through 2016 and Stage 3 will begin in 2017 for those providers that have completed at least two years in Stage 2.

Below are a few important things for you to note about the proposed changed timeline:

  • It does not delay the start of Stage 2 of meaningful use
  • It does not affect the current reporting periods and deadlines for 2014 participation
Plan Ahead  Review all of the important dates for the EHR Incentive Programs on the HIT Timeline

February 28 Deadline for EPs in EHR Incentive Programs

If you are an eligible professional (EP), the last day you can register and attest to demonstrating meaningful use for the 2013 Medicare EHR Incentive Program is February 28, 2014. You must successfully attest by 11:59 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on February 28 to receive an incentive payment for your 2013 participation.


You must attest to demonstrating meaningful use every year to receive an incentive and avoid a payment adjustment. We have established a Meaningful Use page on the QHN web site, including information and resources on attesting out of two different EHR systems, click to access the Meaningful Use Resources page.


Payment adjustments for EPs will be applied beginning January 1, 2015, to Medicare participants that have not successfully demonstrated meaningful use. The adjustment is determined by your reporting period in a prior year. 

Meaningful Use 
Hot Topics
Conference Calls
February 19, 2014 

12:15 - 1:15 pm

Call Topic:  

Patient Portals - how are they working?


Rocky Mountain Orthopaedic Associates:  Jane Lostumbo 


Dr. David Borchers, MD (Primary Care):  Marcey Robinson


Aspen Orthopaedics of Aspen and Glenwood Springs:  Marcie Kissell


Colorado Foundation for Medical Care (CFMC): Devin Detwiler


Join the calls

Access your Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) and eRx Reports

Feedback reports are now available for providers who submitted Physician Quality Reporting System (PQRS) and Electronic Prescribing (eRx) Incentive Program data from Medicare Part B Physician Fee Schedule claims received with dates of service between January 1 and December 31, 2012.


For more information on how to request reports click below.


Cool CMS Newsletter Listserve

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) offers you the ability to subscribe to updates and government newsletters on a myriad of topics from one easy to use Listserve. 


This Listserve gives you access to all the government publications you could ever dream of wanting including: The National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS), IRS, FDA, CDC,  CMS, etc. You can even sign-up for the daily White House briefings!  


Establish an account, manage your preferences and update your subscriptions. Click link below. 


Contact Information

Quality Health Network



Mesa County Physicians IPA


Western Colorado IPA

Mesa County Medical Society

Mt. Sopris Medical Society

Rocky Mountain Health Plans
Practice Transformation Team