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HEALTHeLINK releases 2020 Report to the Community

Available at wnyhealthelink.com/2020 BUFFALO, NY, February 8, 2021 – HEALTHeLINK, the health information exchange (HIE) for Western New York, continues to play a vital role in the delivery and quality of patient care. As highlighted in the HEALTHeLINK 2020 Report to the Community, the value of HIE has never been more evident. “We understand the unique and critical role HEALTHeLINK has to securely share clinical information and to also support our health care community in times of crisis,” said Dan Porreca, executive director, HEALTHeLINK. “We proved it once again as throughout the pandemic, HEALTHeLINK has enabled treating providers to securely obtain their patients’ current health information where it’s needed, when it’s needed. We also continue to support the community with our core services including alert notifications and health record lookup. As the numbers show, even more providers and practices are utilizing HEALTHeLINK for improved, more efficient coordination of patient care.” When the coronavirus outbreak began to surface in early 2020, HEALTHeLINK worked in close partnership with county health departments and the New York State Department of Health to quickly mobilize several services to support epidemiology, surveillance, and other community response efforts that continue to be actively utilized today. Since March, use of patient record lookup by county and state health departments more than doubled. In that same timeframe more than 5.4 million COVID-related alert notifications were delivered to participating providers. A few of the major highlights from HEALTHeLINK’s 2020 Report to the Community include: More than 10 million alert notifications, which included real time notification on patients’ admissions, discharges, and transfers, including local emergency department visits, were delivered to participating providers in 2020. Patient record lookup which enables participating HEALTHeLINK providers to instantly access a consented patient’s clinical record and obtaining information such as test results, medication history, etc. totaled nearly six million. In early 2020, HEALTHeLINK launched HEALTHeOUTCOMES, a community population health tool that currently utilizes clinical data from HEALTHeLINK data sources and claims data from BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York, Independent Health, and Univera Healthcare. HEALTHeLINK is among the first HIEs in the country to achieve National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) Data Aggregator Validation status, ensuring the integrity of clinical data received from its data sources to support HEDIS quality reporting requirements. Over the next two years HEALTHeLINK is working as part of the Healthy Community Alliance task force for community information exchange to explore and ensure the integration of social needs data with patient clinical data to provide a holistic view of a patient’s needs and challenges. Finally, in 2020 alone, the HEALTHeLINK team worked on a total of 86 different products focused on improving the HIE foundation and enhancing the services offered to its participants across the health care community. To view the 2020 HEALTHeLINK Report to the Community, please visit wnyhealthelink.com/2020. ### About HEALTHeLINK:  HEALTHeLINK is a collaboration among hospitals, physicians, health plans and other health care providers in the eight counties of western New York State to securely exchange clinical information to improve the quality of care, enhance patient safety and mitigate health care costs. HEALTHeLINK is a Qualified Entity of the Statewide Health Information Network for New York (SHIN-NY), which enables providers to access their patients’ data from across the state. HEALTHeLINK is also a founding member of the Strategic Health Information Exchange Collaborative (SHIEC), the national trade association of health information exchanges. Providers and patients can visit wnyhealthelink.com or @HEALTHeLINK on both Facebook and Twitter for more information.

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HEALTHeLINK achieves NCQA Data Aggregator Validation status

Raises bar on quality of data exchanged; Helps streamline HEDIS® reporting data for health plans  BUFFALO, NY - November 5, 2020 – HEALTHeLINK announced today it is among the first health information exchanges (HIEs) in the country to participate in the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) Data Aggregator Validation program. Having recently completed a pilot program along with two other New York State HIEs, HEALTHeLINK earned one year of Validation status which means it has the ability to share validated sources for standard supplemental data for use in measurement year 2020 HEDIS® (Healthcare Effectiveness Data Information Set) reporting. HEDIS is a comparative tool developed by NCQA and used by more than 90% of America’s health plans to measure and compare performance in population health, including tracking immunizations, screenings, and other preventative interventions. “With NCQA Data Aggregator Validation, this is another opportunity for HEALTHeLINK to bring value to both our health plans and providers,” said Dan Porreca, executive director, HEALTHeLINK. “The ability for us to simplify and automate what is predominately a manual process for health plans to gather clinical data to conduct their HEDIS reporting is exciting. With this validation recognition and the ability for health plans to leverage HEALTHeLINK for the data they need on their members, there will be much less need to disrupt practices to pull charts in support of HEDIS measure reporting; that data acquisition will now be streamlined via HEALTHeLINK.” NCQA worked to develop the program protocols and with each HIE to ensure all Data Aggregator Validation program standards and protocols were met. Health plans now have access to an efficient process to collect high quality, comprehensive data for HEDIS measurement. Both plans and providers can use the data created from this process to address other needs, such as closing care gaps and improving care delivery. “Our Data Aggregator Validation program was formed to address what payers were telling us, that HEDIS® audits of clinical data from aggregator vendors could prove too burdensome,” said Rick Moore, NCQA chief information officer. “Now, NCQA can validate an aggregator’s data sources prior to a HEDIS reporting year, and then health plans may use the approved sources as standard supplemental data without requiring more audits at the plan level.” NCQA is a private, nonprofit organization dedicated to improving health care quality. NCQA accredits and certifies a wide range of health care organizations. It also recognizes clinicians and practices in key areas of performance. NCQA’s Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set (HEDIS®) is the most widely used performance measurement tool in health care. For more information, visit ncqa.org. ### About HEALTHeLINK:  HEALTHeLINK is a collaboration among hospitals, physicians, health plans and other health care providers in the eight counties of western New York State to securely exchange clinical information to improve the quality of care, enhance patient safety and mitigate health care costs. HEALTHeLINK is a Qualified Entity of the Statewide Health Information Network for New York (SHIN-NY), which enables providers to access their patients’ data from across the state. HEALTHeLINK is also a founding member of the Strategic Health Information Exchange Collaborative (SHIEC), the national trade association of health information exchanges. Providers and patients can visit wnyhealthelink.com or @HEALTHeLINK on both Facebook and Twitter for more information.

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HEALTHeLINK named CPC+ Data Aggregator by Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

National primary care medical home model intended to improve delivery of care and reduce unnecessary and costly tests and procedures BUFFALO, NY - October 26, 2020 – HEALTHeLINK has been named the Comprehensive Primary Care Plus (CPC+) data aggregator for the Greater Buffalo Region by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). CPC+ is a national advanced primary care medical home model initiative that aims to strengthen primary care through regionally based multi-payer payment reform and care delivery transformation. “HEALTHeLINK has consistently demonstrated expertise in aggregating clinical data from health care entities across the community and working with that data to help health care providers most efficiently and effectively treat their patients,” said Dan Porreca, executive director, HEALTHeLINK. “With claims data from our local health plans and now CMS for Medicare Fee-for-Service (FFS) beneficiaries added on top of the clinical data already a part of HEALTHeLINK, we are in a unique position to provide a comprehensive patient quality of care reporting capability. Having the most current and comprehensive health information where it’s needed, when it’s needed, leads to better patient care.” The Greater Buffalo Region, encompassing Erie and Niagara counties, is one of 18 regions nationwide currently participating in CPC+. In addition to CMS, this public-private partnership includes 69 primary care practices and support from BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York and Independent Health. “BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York has a longstanding history of supporting organizations and initiatives that strengthen physicians’ ability to provide well-coordinated, high-quality care to our members, and are proud to be aligned with HEALTHeLINK,” said Dr. Thomas Schenk, executive vice president, chief medical officer, BlueCross BlueShield of Western New Yok. “As the first health plan in the region to share claims data with HEALTHeLINK, we remain committed to finding new ways to support the health of our community, and are excited to provide this enhanced reporting capability to our primary care partners.” “Continued evolution of health care delivery to population health, value-based approaches hinge upon robust and timely data,” said Dr. Anthony J. Billittier IV, FACEP, executive vice president and chief medical officer, Independent Health. “At Independent Health, we have already begun to witness enhancement of both quality and lower overall cost of care thanks to HEALTHeLINK’s experience and expertise supporting local practices enrolled in CPC+.” Participating CPC+ practices will utilize HEALTHeLINK’s population health tool, HEALTHeOUTCOMES. This tool, which currently aggregates clinical and claims data, will also receive CMS Medicare FFS claims data beginning in early 2021 to be used for measures calculations. Having secure access to this data all in one place through HEALTHeOUTCOMES will help to inform each CPC+ practice on not only their treating patients’ medical history, but also on utilization patterns and cost of care to ultimately improve the delivery of comprehensive primary care and reduce the number of unnecessary services their patients receive. As the health information exchange (HIE) for Western New York, HEALTHeLINK is receiving clinical data from more than 450 distinct data sources including hospitals, physician practices, federally qualified health centers, long-term care facilities, radiology providers, independent laboratory practices, home health care agencies and medication history sources. With patient consent, treating providers can securely access this data through HEALTHeLINK. ### About HEALTHeLINK:  HEALTHeLINK is a collaboration among hospitals, physicians, health plans and other health care providers in the eight counties of western New York State to securely exchange clinical information to improve the quality of care, enhance patient safety and mitigate health care costs. HEALTHeLINK is a Qualified Entity of the Statewide Health Information Network for New York (SHIN-NY), which enables providers to access their patients’ data from across the state. HEALTHeLINK is also a founding member of the Strategic Health Information Exchange Collaborative (SHIEC), the national trade association of health information exchanges. Providers and patients can visit wnyhealthelink.com or @HEALTHeLINK on both Facebook and Twitter for more information.

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HEALTHeLINK Medical Minute

Throughout the year, various local health care leaders provide education about HEALTHeLINK as well as highlight the value and benefits of clinical information exchange here in Western New York.

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