MeHI Awards $3 Million to Enhance Healthcare Provider Coordination

MeHI-blue‘Connected Communities’ Grants Aim to Address Critical Healthcare Issues Via Increased Use of Innovative Technologies

During an event at Brockton Neighborhood Health Center, MeHI, the Massachusetts eHealth Institute at MassTech (@MassEHealth), announced $3,038,000 in grants to drive community-level collaboration among healthcare providers using innovative technologies. The grants were made through MeHI’s Connected Communities Implementation Grant program, a statewide effort which seeks to enhance collaboration and communication among healthcare providers within a community through the use of innovative technologies, such as electronic health records and health information exchanges.

MeHI announced awards to seven Massachusetts healthcare organizations working with a total of 78 partner organizations, each receiving grants of $434,000 to support collaborative projects. Each project involves four or more organizations in a specific region, such as hospitals, physician groups, home health agencies, civic and municipal organizations, and at least one behavioral health and/or long term and post-acute care organization. Per the terms of the grant program, each project is required to address practical, measurable healthcare needs among the awarded organization’s patient population.

“By using technology to strengthen local ties, these grantees and their collaborators will be better prepared to address the critical healthcare challenges impacting Massachusetts, including combating the opioid crisis, avoiding unnecessary or recurring readmissions, and preventing adverse drug events,” said Laurance Stuntz, MeHI’s director.

The objectives of the Connected Communities Implementation Grant Program are to catalyze inter-organizational collaboration and to advance the use of interoperable electronic health records (“EHRs”) to improve healthcare and reduce healthcare costs. The Connected Communities Program started with a needs assessment, which involved interviews and roundtables with stakeholders in 15 communities across the Commonwealth. Each community’s needs were captured in Community eHealth Plans and helped shape the goals of the final grant program.

The seven organizations that will manage grants in their respective regions include:

  • Behavioral Health Network – Springfield, Mass.
  • Berkshire Medical Center – Pittsfield, Mass.
  • Brockton Neighborhood Health Center – Brockton, Mass.
  • Cape Cod Healthcare – Hyannis, Mass.
  • Lowell General PHO – Lowell, Mass.
  • Reliant Medical Center – Worcester, Mass.
  • Whittier Independent Practice Association (IPA) – Newburyport, Mass.

Read the full press release.