Michigan REC Reaches 3700 Goal on Assisting Eligible Professionals

MI-mceitaThe Michigan Center for Effective IT Adoption (M-CEITA), Michigan’s Regional Extension Center (REC), has reached its original grant-funded goal of helping 3,724 eligible professionals to Meaningful Use of electronic health record (EHR) technology. This Altarum Institute–led program was initially funded in 2010 by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology.

EHRs have been shown to reduce errors, increase patient engagement, and improve practice workflow. With M-CEITA’s program, medical professionals receive the help they need to make the most of health information technology, making the EHR adoption and implementation process more seamless to receive the influx of new patients statewide.

M-CEITA is one of 62 centers nationwide focused on providing hands-on technical assistance to low-resource groups, such as primary care providers within urban, rural, and critical access settings, who may lack the technical knowledge or available staff to support achievement of Meaningful Use. According to the U.S. Government Accountability Office, providers working with a REC are twice as likely to receive an incentive payment through the EHR Incentive Program. Over $80 million in incentive payments have been made to M-CEITA clients throughout Michigan, boosting practices and local economies.

“Our center is the fifth largest in the country and has helped thousands of practices struggling to meet Meaningful Use criteria and train those that lack the in-house expertise to attain success,” said Dan Armijo, vice president and director of Altarum Institute’s Health Innovation and Technical Assistance group.

M-CEITA’s one-on-one health information technical assistance has grown well beyond the original federally funded program. In late 2014, the Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH) awarded M-CEITA additional funding to support primary care providers and specialists within the Medicaid EHR Incentive Program through 2017, including assisting providers with later stages of Meaningful Use. M-CEITA also works with MDCH on two programs designed to leverage health information technology to improve care for hypertensive and diabetic patients. Additional resources and funding allow M-CEITA to train and help providers in using technology and data to improve the quality of care for patients in communities across Michigan.

“It’s exciting to see the continued growth of the program and how it’s impacting the community,” said Anya Day, director for the Center for Implementation Science at Altarum Institute. “Going forward, these skills and technologies will greatly impact the health and well-being of our state for decades to come.”