February 24, 2016—CommonWell Health Alliance® today announced the availability of its cross-vendor interoperability services to the post-acute market. Brightree, Cerner and McKesson are among the first CommonWell members that have committed to deploying these services nationwide in 2016.
Each year more than 10 million Medicare beneficiaries are discharged from acute care hospitals into a variety of post-acute care settings, including long-term care hospitals, rehabilitation facilities, skilled nursing facilities and patients’ homes with services from home health and hospice agencies. More than 66 percent of these Medicare beneficiaries have two or more chronic conditions with 14 percent having six or more.[i]
“This patient population typically requires care from multiple providers in a variety of highly divergent settings,” said Jitin Asnaani, executive director of CommonWell Health Alliance. “Our collective experience across the continuum can help break down the barriers to cross-vendor HIT interoperability and make a dramatic difference in care coordination among ambulatory, acute and post-acute settings of care, with the ultimate goal of better patient outcomes.“
A recent study indicated a low level of health information exchange among post-acute settings, particularly the ability to send and receive data.[ii] The CommonWell services, which include person enrollment, record location, patient identification and linking, and data query and retrieval, will begin in the first quarter of the year for post-acute facilities.
Brightree, a leading provider of cloud-based software and services focused on improving clinical and business performance across the post-acute care industry, plans to deploy CommonWell services to its home health and hospice customers during its next winter release of Brightree Home Health and Brightree Hospice.
“Seamless transitions of care are absolutely critical to improving outcomes and containing cost, and in the brave new world of health care, that simply can’t happen without interoperable exchange of health information” said Dave Cormack, president and chief executive officer of Brightree. “As an advocate for the effective use of healthcare IT in the post-acute setting, and the first CommonWell member focused solely on post-acute care, we’re thrilled to equip providers with the information they need to be more efficient and provide better patient care.”
Cerner, a Founding Member of the Alliance, will extend CommonWell services to its long-term care client base early this year. A recent pilot study, co-authored by Cerner, found that providing long-term care organizations with access to electronic information exchange helped lower rates for inpatient readmissions and return emergency department visits.[iii]
“Our long-term care clients are eager to adopt CommonWell functionality,” said Adam Laskey, senior director of long-term and post-acute care, Cerner. “As care providers become more focused on care coordination, it becomes increasingly important to enable the exchange of clinical health data across the continuum. We are excited to be at the forefront of this industry shift.”
Also a Founding Member of CommonWell, McKesson is dedicated to the mission of making patient data available to patients and providers regardless of where care occurs. McKesson is planning to make CommonWell services available in March 2016 to home health and hospice providers using McKesson Homecare™ and McKesson Hospice™.[iv]
“As risk continues to shift to providers, hospitals will rely more on post-acute providers to help gain the efficiency of providing positive outcomes in a lower cost care setting,” said Billie Whitehurst, president and general manager of McKesson Capacity Management. “We’re excited that we’re delivering CommonWell enablement to our home health and hospice customers this spring. It’s part of our overall interoperability strategy to help improve efficiency in health care by connecting the care delivered in every setting.”
Since its foundation, CommonWell, the first and only national network to facilitate patient-centric identification, record location and query and retrieval of clinical chart data, planned to expand the reach of its services to enable real-world exchange in other care settings such as post-acute, emergency medical services, laboratory and more. The plan is to put health information in the hands of caregivers across the continuum, including patients themselves, with data access from other health information technology systems, patient portals and apps.
To date, nearly 4,400 provider sites in all 50 states, the District of Columbia (D.C.) and Puerto Rico have gone live with CommonWell services and an additional 3,500 sites have committed to using CommonWell services in the future.
About CommonWell Health Alliance
CommonWell Health Alliance is a not-for-profit trade association of health IT companies working together to create universal access to health data nationwide. CommonWell members represent 72% of the acute care EHR market[v] and 34% of the ambulatory care EHR market,[vi] as well as market leaders and technology innovators supporting care settings such as imaging, perinatal, laboratory, retail pharmacy, oncology, population health, post-acute care, emergency services and more. CommonWell and its members are committed to the belief that provider access to health data must be built into information technologies at a reasonable cost for use by a broad range of health care providers and the populations and people they serve.
Brightree is a leading provider of cloud-based software to improve clinical and business performance in the post-acute care industry. The Company serves more than 2,500 organizations in the home medical equipment (HME), home health, hospice, orthotic and prosthetic (O&P), HME pharmacy, home infusion and rehab home care segments. Brightree’s solutions follow the natural workflow of providers to automate and improve how they manage their businesses, serve patients, and protect reimbursements. The company is ranked as one of the top 100 healthcare IT companies in the U.S. on the prestigious Healthcare Informatics 100 (HCI 100) list. For further information, visit http://www.brightree.com or call 1.888.598.7797.
Cerner’s health information technologies connect people, information, and systems, at more than 20,000 facilities worldwide. Recognized for innovation, Cerner solutions assist clinicians in making care decisions and enable organizations to manage the health of populations. The company also offers an integrated clinical and financial system to help health care organizations manage revenue, as well as a wide range of services to support clients’ clinical, financial and operational needs. Cerner’s mission is to contribute to the systemic improvement of health care delivery and the health of communities. On February 2, 2015, Cerner Corporation acquired substantially all of the assets, and assumed certain liabilities, of the Siemens Health Services business from Siemens AG. Nasdaq: CERN. For more information about Cerner, visit www.cerner.com, read our blog at www.cerner.com/blog, connect with us on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/cerner and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/cerner. The Cerner website, blog, twitter account and Facebook page contain a significant amount of information about Cerner, including financial and other information for investors.
About McKesson Corporation
McKesson Corporation, currently ranked 11th on the FORTUNE 500, is a healthcare services and information technology company dedicated to making the business of healthcare run better. McKesson partners with payers, hospitals, physician offices, pharmacies, pharmaceutical companies and others across the spectrum of care to build healthier organizations that deliver better care to patients in every setting. McKesson helps its customers improve their financial, operational, and clinical performance with solutions that include pharmaceutical and medical-surgical supply management, healthcare information technology, and business and clinical services. For more information, visit http://www.mckesson.com.
Brightree Press Contact:
Phone: (678) 243-1788
Cerner Press Contact:
Phone: (816) 213-5701
McKesson Press Contact:
Jennifer Grigas Richman
Phone: (404) 338.3710
[i] Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. (2013). Chronic Conditions among Medicare Beneficiaries: Chartbook: 2012 Edition, Baltimore, MD. 2012.
[ii] Wolf L, Harvell J, Jha AK. Hospitals ineligible for federal meaningful-use incentives have dismally low rates of adoption of electronic health records, Health Affairs. 2012 Mar;31(3):505-13.
[iii] Yeaman, B., Ko, K., del Castillo, R., (September 30, 2015) “Care Transitions in Long-term Care and Acute Care: Health Information Exchange and Readmission Rates”OJIN: The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing Vol. 20 No. 3.
[iv] Any descriptions of future functionality reflect current product direction, are for informational purposes only and do not constitute a commitment to provide specific functionality. Timing and availability remain at McKesson’s discretion and are subject to change and applicable regulatory approvals.
[vi] SK&A, a Cegedim Company – “EHR Vendor Market Share by Physician Size”, January 2015.