Delaware Officials Announce DHIN Grant

WILMINGTON, Del. – Today, Sens. Tom Carper and Ted Kaufman (both D-Del.), Lt. Governor Matt Denn (D-Del.), Delaware Healthcare Commission Chair John Carney and others announced a $4,680,284 cooperation agreement for the Delaware Health Information Network (DHIN) at Henrietta Johnson Medical Center in Wilmington.
The overall grant was announced in early February by Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, who announced a total of $750 million in awards to help health care providers advance the adoption and meaningful use of health information technology (HIT) and train workers for the health care jobs of the future.
“I couldn’t be more proud to announce this funding today,” said Sen. Carper. “Delaware is the first state in the nation with a statewide clinical electronic health information system. The DHIN will improve quality of care, reduce costs, and is good for business and job creation. What a great day!” 
On February 8, 2010, DHIN was awarded a total of $4,680,284.00 over four years by the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC-HIT) under the State Health Information Exchange Cooperative Agreement. DHIN was approved for implementation funding which is a distinction only 3 of the 40 awardees can claim. All other awardees are required to develop and submit a State Plan before they can receive full funding; DHIN’s State Plan was submitted with the original application and approved by ONC.
“We are pleased and honored that the work we have done has been recognized by the federal government in such a favorable way.  It is yet another endorsement of DHIN’s leadership in the field of health information technology,” said Robert White, Chair, DHIN Board of Directors.
The cooperative agreement will fund work with the Division of Public Health and the Division of Medicaid and Medical Assistance to interface DHIN with the Immunization Registry, Public Health Laboratory and Medicaid Management Information System respectively. In 2012 and 2013, DHIN will build upon this foundation to:
 – Facilitate claims processing and eligibility verification for Medicaid and private payers.
 – Implement Scheduled Orders which will allow referring physicians to electronically order outpatient radiology procedures to a radiology provider as well as other schedule-based orders such as Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, or Speech Pathology. This functionality will further expand DHIN’s capacity to support coordination of care among all healthcare providers.
 – Develop a quality reporting data mart will be established to support meaningful users in reporting to CMS for incentive payments.
Nationally, the DHHS funding awards will help make health IT available to over 100,000 hospitals and primary care physicians by 2014 and train thousands of people for careers in health care and information technology. This American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA) investment will help grow the emerging health IT industry which is expected to support tens of thousands of jobs ranging from nurses and pharmacy techs to IT technicians and trainers. 
As of February 16, 2010, more than $1.2 billion in ARRA funding has been announced for Delaware.
“One year later, the Recovery Act is still creating job opportunities,” said Sen. Kaufman. “ARRA funding for the Delaware Health Information Network means more jobs in Delaware. Ten of the 20 fastest growing occupations are healthcare related, which will generate more than three million new jobs over the next eight years. To make certain Delaware is prepared for the health jobs of the future, we must ensure that our healthcare care workers are using the best technology available.
“Investing in health technology in Delaware means that patients will have better care and doctors will have better information; which translates to saving lives,” said Lt. Governor Denn.
“This grant is further confirmation that the Delaware Health Information Network is a model data exchange system that will help bring down health care costs and improve the quality of health care services for Delawareans across the state,” said Carney, Chair of the Delaware Healthcare Commission.
The event was held at the Henrietta Johnson Medical Center to highlight that all four of Delaware’s federally qualified community health centers – Henrietta Johnson Medical Center, Westside Family Care, Delmarva Rural Ministries, and La Red – are networked with the DHIN allowing a health information exchange to improve quality of care and reduce costs for those less fortunate.  
The DHIN is apublic-private partnership that provides a secure, statewide health information delivery system. It has been designed as collaborative effort of hospitals, physicians, labs, radiology facilities and consumers to improve healthcare treatment, privacy and cost for all Delawareans. The DHIN saves times, improves care, reduces costs and enhances privacy and is a better way to deliver health information. In addition to the Federal funding, DHIN is financed by the State of Delaware and by those who participate in the system.