Vermont Information Technology Leaders, Inc., the non-profit organization facilitating the expanded use of health information technology in Vermont, and Allscripts (Nasdaq: MDRX), the leading U.S. health information technology provider with a major facility located in South Burlington, Vermont, today announced their intention to enter into a strategic alliance.
VITL is the state-funded provider of health information technology infrastructure for Vermont's Blueprint for Health, a groundbreaking initiative of the Vermont Department of Health to build a statewide chronic care information system. Formed by a broad base of providers, payers, employers, patients, and state agencies, VITL is a multi-stakeholder nonprofit corporation largely supported by the state's Health Information Technology Fund.
The formal alliance between Allscripts and VITL was announced at the VITL Summit conference in Burlington, Vt. today following a speech by Vermont Gov. Jim Douglas. The alliance will allow the two organizations to leverage their combined expertise, capabilities, contacts, knowledge, and services to accelerate the adoption of Electronic Health Record (EHR) systems by Vermont-based physicians, with specific focus on small practices and rural physicians. It is envisioned that Allscripts products and services will be made available to Vermont health care providers at preferred pricing.
The Blueprint for Health provides Vermonters the information, tools, and support they need to successfully manage their health. Its model of a patient centered medical home, supported by community health teams, seeks to shift the focus of healthcare from the largely reactive treatment of symptoms to a more proactive approach. VITL selected Allscripts as its partner in the statewide program after reviewing several Electronic Health Record system vendors.
"Allscripts, with its strong presence in Vermont and its broad array of products, is the perfect partner for VITL," said David Cochran, M.D., VITL's President and CEO. "Allscripts offers physician practices a choice of three different electronic health records systems, all of which lead the market in terms of functionality. Allscripts also provides first-class locally-based technical support to its customers. We found that combination of product and support could not be beat."
Vern Davenport, Allscripts President, Government Sector, commented, "Vermont leads the nation in developing a sustainable blueprint for healthcare IT adoption and backing it up with strong leadership from Governor Douglas, state agencies, and VITL. We are proud to have been selected by VITL to help Vermont's physicians take advantage of the phenomenal opportunity afforded by the new federal EHR incentives to enhance the quality and lower the cost of healthcare for everyone."
Beginning in 2011, Vermont physicians can qualify for between $44,000 and $64,000 in payments from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for adopting and demonstrating "meaningful use" of an EHR. Physicians who have not adopted certified EHR systems by 2014 will have their Medicare reimbursements reduced by up to 3 percent beginning in 2015.
Studies demonstrate that effective use of EHR systems reduces medical errors, improves clinical quality and leads to better patient outcomes by enabling real-time access to patient records, medical information and best practices, and electronic connectivity to all healthcare stakeholders, including patients.
The strategic partnership between VITL and Allscripts follows the announcement last week by U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and Gov. Douglas that Medicare will join Medicaid and private insurers in a new demonstration project to improve the way healthcare is delivered. The new partnership between the public and private payers will be based on the model of primary-care delivery that is currently being tested by Vermont's Blueprint for Health.
Under the Vermont model, private insurers work in cooperation with Medicaid to set uniform standards for advanced primary-care models, also known as medical homes. The goal is to provide physicians with incentives to spend more time with their patients and offer better-coordinated, higher-quality medical care.
Allscripts will join VITL in facilitating the automation of the patient centered medical home (PCMH) and community health teams, local multidisciplinary teams created by the Blueprint initiative that provide care support across physician practices for prevention, health maintenance and chronic disease.