Updated Q&A on RHIO Connectivity

As discussed in our November OneCity Health Partner Webinar, OneCity Health will begin to accelerate connecting our partners to the Regional Health Information Organization (RHIO), and coordinate the work of our vendor, Digital Edge, and NYC Health + Hospitals IT. Based on questions we received during the webinar and other updates to the process, below please find an updated RHIO Q&A. Please note, this Q&A replaces the version we posted on September 8, 2017.

Regional Health Information Organization (RHIO) connectivity is a DSRIP requirement for all OneCity Health partners that either provide clinical services and/or have an Electronic Medical Record (EMR).

OneCity Health is in the process of reaching out to partners regarding electronic/RHIO connectivity status. In the beginning of 2017, OneCity Health conducted a successful pilot with one partner to connect their EMR to the New York Care Information Gateway (NYCIG) RHIO. This pilot has now been expanded to a larger wave of partners. For the expanded pilot, we are working with our vendor, Digital Edge, and NYC Health + Hospitals to connect partners with an EMR to the NYCIG RHIO.

For partners interested in connecting to the NYCIG RHIO, OneCity Health will help partners establish a site to site virtual protected network connection with this RHIO, and do a test of data exchange.

The following Q&A covers additional questions that OneCity Health partners have raised regarding RHIO connection.

Are non-Medicaid billing community-based organization (CBO) partners required to connect to a RHIO?
No, these partners are not required to connect to a RHIO. However, if any of these partners are interested in electronic/RHIO connectivity, they should inform OneCity Health so that we can support their electronic/RHIO connectivity efforts.

Are OneCity Health non-Medicaid billing CBO partners required to utilize an EMR?
No, these partners are not required to utilize an EMR.

Can OneCity Health partners connect to the NYCIG RHIO specifically or to any RHIO? If to any RHIO, will Digital Edge provide technical assistance for a partner to connect to a RHIO other than the NYCIG RHIO?
OneCity Health partners can connect to any RHIO. However, we are only offering technical assistance and support for connection to the NYCIG RHIO. This support is available even if you are already connected to another RHIO. For partners eligible for a Comprehensive Schedule B, OneCity Health will include an incentive payment for initial and ongoing RHIO connectivity.

What information is available once my organization decides to join the NYCIG RHIO?
If you choose to join the NYCIG RHIO, as soon as you sign the NYCIG Participation Agreement, you will have access to the NYCIG RHIO’s web-based Portal which will allow you to explore the kinds of patient data available in that RHIO.

Is consent different for each RHIO? If my organization has already obtained patient consent for one RHIO, would we have to obtain consent again if we connect to a second RHIO?
Patients or clients must execute a separate consent form for each RHIO that your organization is connected to.

If my organization is already connected to a different RHIO, is there any advantage to connecting to the NYCIG RHIO as well?
There is no disadvantage to connecting to multiple RHIOs. Connecting to multiple RHIOs can provide access to a wider array of information given that each RHIO collects some information that another RHIO may not. However, sharing or gaining access to your patient’s or client’s information in each RHIO you connect to, is dependent on the patient or client executing a consent to share information for each such RHIO. The State Health Information Network of NY (SHIN-NY), a network that is intended to link RHIOs throughout the state together, is limited in its RHIO-to-RHIO connections. The only way to ensure you get access to data from NYC Health + Hospitals is via connection to the NYCIG RHIO.

Is OneCity Health offering an EMR for partners that provide clinical services? If so, do we have a specific product that we are offering?
For partners that provide clinical services but do not have a meaningful use (MU) certified EMR, OneCity Health will provide a FREE MU-certified EMR option that is already connected to the NYCIG RHIO.

What is specifically covered by OneCity Health via technical assistance from New York City Health + Hospitals and Digital Edge?

  • Procurement of an EMR or electronic record? If you are a clinical provider who does not have a MU-certified EMR, OneCity Health can provide a free MU-certified EMR option that is already connected to the NYCIG RHIO. Procurement of any other EMR is not covered.
  • Technical assistance to connect an EMR or electronic record to a RHIO? Yes, this is covered but only for connection to the NYCIG RHIO.
  • Technical assistance to install an EMR? No, this is not covered.
  • Technical assistance to share information bi-directionally with a RHIO? Yes, this is covered but only for the NYCIG RHIO.
  • Costs that an EMR vendor may charge for connecting to a RHIO? No, we will not cover costs that partners may incur from their own EMR vendor to support connectivity to a RHIO; we will only provide technical assistance to support their connectivity to the NYCIG RHIO. Such technical assistance may include collaborating with your EMR vendor as needed.
  • Ongoing subscription fees? The New York State Department of Health is currently subsidizing such fees directly with RHIOs. Partners should consult with their RHIO of choice to learn about their eligibility for subsidization of ongoing subscription fees. Note that the NYCIG RHIO is currently subsidizing such fees. Additionally, partners that are eligible for a Comprehensive Schedule B, will be eligible to receive an incentive payment for initial and ongoing RHIO connectivity.

Are there any other resources (i.e., state or city funded) that partners can utilize to support their electronic/RHIO connectivity?
OneCity Health can work with you to identify the electronic/RHIO connectivity option that works best for your organization, which includes the technical assistance services that we are providing free of charge. However, if you prefer to utilize different resources to pursue electronic/RHIO connectivity, we recommend that you pursue New York State Department of Health resources such as the New York eHealth Collaborative which may be able to provide financial assistance.

If you continue to have questions about connecting to the RHIO, please reach out to the OneCity Health support desk at ochsupportdesk@nychhc.org or call 646-694-7090 (Monday through Friday, 9-5pm ET).