DHSS Seeks Mini-Grant Applications from Small Primary Care Practices to Connect to Delaware Health Information Network

NEW CASTLE (October 9, 2019) – The Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS) is seeking applications from Delaware health care providers for one-time, health information exchange (HIE) support mini-grants to adopt the full range of health information exchange tools offered by the Delaware Health Information Network (DHIN).

DHIN is Delaware’s Health Information Exchange (HIE) and holds more than 2.9 million patient records. Additionally, DHIN allows the safe and secure delivery of clinical results and reports for patients, along with admission and discharge data from all Delaware acute-care settings and more than 46 long-term care facilities.

Eligible mini-grant applicants include small primary care and other medical practices, behavioral health providers, accountable care organizations (ACOs), or Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) that are not adopting the full range of health information exchange tools offered by the DHIN. All applicants must be licensed in Delaware and must provide a valid medical license where applicable. Applications will be evaluated by the Delaware Health Care Commission.

“This mini-grant opportunity will help primary care practices to serve their patients more effectively by enriching the electronic data they have available for each patient,” said Department of Health and Social Services Secretary Dr. Kara Odom Walker, a practicing family physician. “The mini-grants also will help primary care practices to prepare for value-based care and improving health, which are critical to reducing the overall cost of health care across the spectrum.”

“DHIN is thrilled to work with the Department of Health and Social Services to bring data services to the health care providers of Delaware in support of treatment decisions at the point of care as well as care coordination, patient engagement, and data analytics,” said Dr. Jan Lee, CEO of the Delaware Health Information Network.

This mini-grant is an opportunity for practices to expand their use of data as a lever in preparation for new payment models, including Total Cost of Care (TCC) and risk-sharing arrangements by having connectivity with the DHIN. To achieve this outcome, these mini-grants will support investments in EMRs (Electronic Medical Records), proper technology infrastructure, and DHIN-bundled services, with the ultimate goal of contributing data to and receiving data from the DHIN. This one-time funding is being offered to assist medical practices to adopt the full range of health information exchange tools offered by the DHIN. These services include:

  • Access to the Community Health Record (CHR), the longitudinal view of each patient’s health data regardless of place and date of service.
  • A results-delivery interface that enables DHIN to securely deliver all result types from all data senders directly into the provider’s Electronic Health Record (EHR).
  • Care Summary Exchange, which enables the provider to send a summary of each clinical encounter to the DHIN, thus enriching the data within the CHR for all users.
  • Event Notification Services (ENS), by which DHIN can notify the provider or a designated care coordinator of admissions or discharges of their patients to approximately 200 hospitals, emergency departments (EDs), and other care settings across Delaware, Maryland, West Virginia, District of Columbia, southern New Jersey, and selected Pennsylvania EDs.
  • Patient Portal/Personal Health Record (PHR), co-branded for the practice, by which a participating patient can view all their health data submitted to DHIN by all sources. The DHIN PHR is certified by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology to meet all requirements for patient engagement under Meaningful Use and the Merit-Based Incentive Payment System.
  • Medication history, activated through the CHR, which enables on-demand retrieval of a 12-month prescription fill history, thus facilitating medication reconciliation.

The Delaware Health Care Commission (DHCC) is prepared to award up to 25 applicants in varying amounts, with the maximum award total of $8,000, to assist practices with start-up costs. Funding is being made available through the Department of Health and Social Services’ Fiscal Year 2020 budget.

The DHCC will accept applications on a rolling admission and are due no later than Nov. 30, 2019. Applications will be evaluated and considered as they are received. Final notifications of award will be sent by Dec. 15, 2019. All questions and final applications must be submitted by email to DHCC@delaware.gov.