EHR Support for L.A. County Health Care Providers to Continue into 2016 with L.A. Care Extension Award

HITEC-LA, a project of L.A. Care Health Plan, helps small practices and clinics switch from paper files to electronic health records that help improve patient care

LOS ANGELES – HITEC-LA, a project of L.A. Care Health Plan, the nation’s largest publicly operated health plan, was awarded a 14-month no-cost extension from the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) to continue until June 2016.

Since starting in 2010, HITEC-LA has worked with more than 5,600 L.A. County health care providers and recently passed 91% of its goal to help 3,000 of those reach meaningful use of electronic health records (EHRs) and consequently qualify for federal incentives. Providers that use EHRs in a meaningful way can expand the capabilities of their practices, leading to improved clinical quality, lower costs and better patient experience.

“As a technology partner for thousands of small practices and clinics in L.A. County, we’re excited to continue building upon the foundation we started five years ago,” said L.A. Care Health Plan Chief Executive Officer John Baackes. “The extension of this award really goes a long way to improve care for vulnerable residents who rely on the safety net for their health care needs.”

While HITEC-LA serves providers who accept Medicare, Medi-Cal, uninsured, and commercial plan patients, the organization’s focus is helping those providers who care for the lowest income residents of L.A. County.  Through HITEC-LA, L.A. Care is able to offer safety net providers the same health IT resources that are available to private providers, which enhances their ability to serve some of the most vulnerable patients in the county.

HITEC-LA belongs to the network of 62 Regional Extension Centers across the country formed under the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act, which is part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.  In addition to developing the Regional Extension Centers, the HITECH Act also created the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs, which provide incentive payments to eligible professionals as they adopt, implement, upgrade or demonstrate meaningful use of certified EHR technology.  Eligible health care providers can receive up to $63,750 under the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program or up to $44,000 under the Medicare EHR Incentive Program.

About L.A. Care

L.A. Care Health Plan (Local Initiative Health Authority of Los Angeles County) is a public entity and community-accountable health plan serving residents of Los Angeles County through a variety of health coverage programs including L.A. Care Covered™Medi-CalL.A. Care Cal MediConnect PlanL.A. Care’s Healthy Kids and PASC-SEIU Homecare Workers Health Care Plan.  L.A. Care is a leader in developing new programs through innovative partnerships designed to provide health coverage to vulnerable populations and to support the safety net.  With more than 1.7 million members, L.A. Care is the nation’s largest publicly operated health plan.

About HITEC-LA

Health Information Technology Extension Center for Los Angeles (HITEC-LA) was founded in 2010 under the Health Information Technology Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act when the federal government awarded L.A. Care Health Plan, the nation’s largest publicly operated health plan, a $16.4 million grant.  HITEC-LA is the exclusive federally-designated Health Information Technology Regional Extension Center for Los Angeles County.  HITEC-LA acts solely in the best interest of Los Angeles County health care providers, helping them select, implement, and meaningfully use electronic health records certified by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC).  HITEC-LA is funded by the ONC, Department of Health and Human Services, Award Number: 90RC0052/01.  Visit www.hitecla.org.