Lantana Awarded High Impact Pilot for North Carolina Pharmacies

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The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology awarded Lantana Consulting Group a High Impact Pilot cooperative agreement to test and refine a standard for pharmacist care plans and to deploy the standard across the Community Pharmacy Enhanced Services Network.

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We are excited to show how standards-based solutions enhance patient engagement, medication reconciliation, and integration of pharmacy in care coordination.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) awarded Lantana Consulting Group a High Impact Pilot (HIP) cooperative agreement to test and refine a standard for pharmacist care plans and to deploy the standard across the Community Pharmacy Enhanced Services Network (CPESN), a project of Community Care of North Carolina (CCNC). The CPESN network provides targeted services to more than three million Medicaid, Medicare, and Dual recipients; and over half will be covered under the participating pharmacy management vendors, PioneerRx and QS/1.

“We are excited to support these innovative projects that advance the use of common standards to improve care, particularly in the categories of comprehensive medication management, laboratory data exchange, and care coordination,” said B. Vindell Washington, M.D., M.H.C.M., National Coordinator for health information technology (HHS.gov). “These programs will serve as key building blocks for improving the patient and provider experience with the flow of health information.”

Lantana will support CCNC and the vendors as they implement the Pharmacy Care Plan Standard, which will be based on the generic Care Plan recommended in the ONC Interoperability Standards Advisory. Pharmacists will use upgraded pharmacy management systems to submit care plans to improve care coordination. CCNC will receive the care plans and use the EHR-ready, standardized data to assess quality of care. The move to an interoperable care plan will reduce redundant data entry, introduce consistency into the structure and coding of the care plans, and allow clinical information emanating from community pharmacies to be more easily exchanged with other members of the care team.

“This project requires that we hit the ground running,” said Zabrina Gonzaga, RN, Manager of Clinical Analysis and Policy. “We know how to deploy standards-based solutions that advance the flow of data through the networks. We are excited to show how this will enhance patient engagement, medication reconciliation, and integration of pharmacy in care coordination.”

The ONC award requires that the pilot assess the impact in three areas: practice efficiency, to be measured by change in the volume of care plans relative to a control group; clinical quality, based on number of quality indicators that can be measured via the new data; and interoperability, based on level of plans that pass validation against the new standard.

Troy Trygstad, VP of Pharmacy Programs for CCNC, reports “we are thrilled that this award can help us accelerate Community-Based Pharmacy care coordination efforts by integrating their activities with the rest of the care team. As an organization focused on providing wrap around supports for primary care, we see high demand for efficient and effective exchange of care plans and associated information between pharmacies and practices. This will greatly aid in that effort.” CCNC, under a separate initiative, will expand the implementation of the Pharmacist Care Plan to additional pharmacy system vendors, VIP, RX30, ComputerRx, and Creative Pharmacist as part of the CPESN effort.

Lantana is one of four organizations awarded a one-year HIP cooperative agreement totaling $1.25 million. ONC awarded the projects based on several factors, including the organizations’ ability to address health IT challenges, scalability, potential impact, technical approach, innovation, and creativity. Each organization’s goals were assessed for alignment with goals of the Department to unlock health data and improve the health of Americans.

Lantana Consulting Group is a leader in healthcare interoperability strategy and standards development. Lantana makes health information available across the spectrum of care, supporting safe, effective, affordable healthcare that improves well-being, public health, quality of care, and research.

CCNC’s family of companies includes parent company CCNC, Inc. and its wholly owned subsidiary, North Carolina Community Care Networks, Inc., which is a community-based, public-private partnership that creates patient-centered “medical homes” in all 100 counties for North Carolina Medicaid recipients. The CCNC family of companies is dedicated to innovative approaches to population management that improve health and reduce costs, particularly for vulnerable populations. To learn how CCNC improves quality and saves millions of dollars every year, visit http://www.communitycarenc.org.

ONC is the principal federal entity charged with coordination of nationwide efforts to implement and use the most advanced health information technology and the electronic exchange of health information. The position of National Coordinator was created in 2004, through an Executive Order, and legislatively mandated in the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act (HITECH Act) of 2009.

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