SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Sean Houghton, Glenn Rossman, Ignacio M. Llorente, Xenia von Wedel, Peter Silva

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State's Largest Not-For-Profit Health Plan Joins Colorado Health Information Exchange

Kaiser Permanente Colorado is the First Health Plan to Officially Join the CORHIO Health Information Exchange Network

DENVER, Feb. 18, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- CORHIO, the Colorado Regional Health Information Organization, announced today that Kaiser Permanente Colorado has signed an agreement to participate in the state-designated health information exchange (HIE) network. Participation in the CORHIO HIE provides Kaiser Permanente's physicians and other clinical caregivers with additional information on their members when care is provided outside of the health plan's centralized network.

Kaiser Permanente plans to initially utilize the HIE information for members in southern Colorado, including Colorado Springs and Pueblo, and hopes to later expand to other parts of the state.

"This partnership with CORHIO will serve as a valuable addition to Kaiser Permanente's robust system of electronic medical records, allowing for enhanced care coordination and communication between our providers and partner hospitals in southern Colorado," says Donna Lynne, DrPH, executive vice president of Kaiser Foundation Hospitals and Health Plan, Inc. and president of Kaiser Permanente Colorado. "We are pleased to be the first Colorado health plan to join CORHIO's network, a system that is in line with our values of health care quality, efficiency and affordability."

"Kaiser Permanente is one of Colorado's largest health care organizations and we are delighted to be working with them to further enhance care coordination for their members," says Kelly Joines, interim chief executive officer at CORHIO. "Kaiser Permanente clearly knows the importance of equipping doctors and other care providers with patients' most up-to-date medical information. It dramatically improves the overall patient experience and ensures that individuals are getting the best possible care."

Kaiser Permanente Colorado had previously participated in a more limited health information exchange pilot project with CORHIO, funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) to share information among emergency departments. In 2010, the pilot project was transformed into a new, broader HIE network that enables better care coordination across all health care settings.

Currently there are 31 hospitals, more than 1,300 office-based providers, 123 long-term and post-acute care facilities, 21 behavioral health centers and three large medical laboratories connected to the CORHIO HIE. Additionally, CORHIO is contracted with and in the process of connecting 17 additional hospitals, more than 700 additional office-based providers, three additional long-term and post-acute care providers, two behavioral health centers and two regional laboratories. Information exchanged between HIE participants is highly secure and restricted to authorized medical practitioners.

About Kaiser Permanente Colorado
Kaiser Permanente Colorado is the state's largest nonprofit health plan, proudly working to improve the lives and health of Colorado residents for more than 40 years. Kaiser Permanente Colorado provides comprehensive health care services to more than 565,000 members through 28 medical offices and a network of affiliated hospitals and physicians. Kaiser Permanente was recognized by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) as the top- ranked commercial health plan in Colorado and the fourth ranked Medicare plan in the nation. Kaiser Permanente was also recently recognized as a 2012 Hypertension Champion by Million Hearts™. In 2012, Kaiser Permanente proudly directed more than $92 million to community benefit programs to improve the health of all Coloradans. For more Kaiser Permanente news, visit kp.org/share or follow us on Twitter @kpcolorado or facebook.com/kpcolorado.

About CORHIO
CORHIO is dedicated to improving health care quality for all Coloradans through health information exchange (HIE). As the state-designated entity for HIE, CORHIO collaborates with all health care stakeholders including physicians, hospitals, clinics, public health, long-term care, laboratories, health plans and patients to improve care collaboration through secure systems and processes for sharing clinical information. CORHIO is a not-for-profit supported in part by grants, including awards from the Colorado Health Foundation and from federal ARRA HITECH funds. CORHIO's technical infrastructure is built on industry-leading HIE technology developed and maintained by Medicity. For more information about CORHIO, please visit www.corhio.org.

SOURCE CORHIO

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