Posted By Lorana Price On January 16, 2019
Most healthcare providers who receive state funds, such as Medicaid, are required to connect to NC HealthConnex by June 1, 2020. If your agency isn’t connected in time, you may be unable to receive payments for services you provide. However, many behavioral health agencies don’t know what connecting to the health information exchange (HIE) fully entails.
How to Connect to the HIE
Complete the following to connect to NC HealthConnex:
1. Get your technology in place.
While you can access NC HealthConnex through their Clinical Portal, you may want to consider integration via an Electronic Health Record (EHR) system. You’ll want to look for an EHR software that is ONC certified for Meaningful Use. Be aware that Meaningful Use is now called Promoting Interoperability, and you may hear both terms used.
2. Complete your Participation Agreement.
You have the choice of submitting a Full Participation Agreement, which gives you full use of the HIE and enables you to meet state data submission requirements. Or, you can use the Submission Only Participation Agreement. While you are able to meet compliance requirements with this agreement, you will not have access to clinical registries or other HIE data.
3. Review and sign the Business Associate Agreement.
Be sure to use the legal entity name of the provider or facility as the “name of the Participant.” This Agreement, and others identified below, can be found in the attachments located in the back of the Participation Agreements.
4. Complete the Address for Notice Form.
This allows you to receive formal notifications from the North Carolina Health Information Exchange Authority (NC HIEA).
5. Determine who will act as your three points of contact with the NC HIEA.
The roles you will fill are the Participant Account Administrator, Contract Administrator and a Technical Services Contact. The Participant Account Administrator will be your primary point of contact. Complete all related paperwork.
6. Identify your Participating Entities.
Be sure to read the definition of a Participating Entity so you include all of them. The definition can be found in the Participation Agreement.
7. Become Familiar with NC HIEA Policies and Procedures
You are required to follow all policies and procedures the NC HIEA has established. This are the Privacy and Policies Security and User Access Policies. Read these thoroughly so you don’t encounter any surprises. These policies cover your requirements, user activities, sending messages, using added features and the transaction of messages.
8. FINALLY – Submit your Agreement
Email your completed Agreement to firstname.lastname@example.org, which is their preferred way of receiving it.
Learn More About Connecting
Connecting to NC HealthConnex is a process. It’s not something that can be completed without a lot of thought, time and effort. Waiting until the deadline could put your agency in a compromised position. Start asking questions about connecting and what it will take to implement an EHR for your agency.
While the information above is about NC HealthConnex, other states across the country will also be implementing similar requirements. If your state mandates connectivity to an HIE, Patagonia Health can help.