The University of Mississippi Medical Center in early 2016 became the first organization in the United States to establish a link between an electronic health record and Medicaid. This allowed them to take Medicaid claims data and translate it into clinical data–helping Medicaid manage patient health and UMMC make improved decisions at the point of care.

As of early 2017, the program securely exchanged more than 1 million health records. With the program in place, UMMC doctors can now see if Medicaid patients have gotten their prescriptions refilled, scheduled primary care visits, or had medical tests done.

The program also helps in treating children who come to UMMC for critical care.

Mary Taylor, division chief of Pediatric Critical Care and Pediatric Cardiology at UMMC, said, “We’re in a unique situation in that our patients see other providers. If they’re seen in an outside hospital and then referred to ours, it would be helpful for patient care to access that information quickly, rather than backtrack. This means we can communicate more effectively and give the best patient care. Our next step is to broaden the education for the team here so that more people are aware of this, and how to access the records.”

The groundwork for the program was laid in 2014, when health care analytics company MedeAnalytics integrated more than a decade of Medicaid records with UMMC’s EHR. Then, the data was made accessible through a Medicaid provider portal to standardize with any EHR system used by health providers across the state.

“From this starting platform, we can begin to tailor interventions and preventive care to improve the health of some of the most vulnerable people in our state,” said David Dzielak, executive director of the Division of Medicaid. “The success UMMC has already shown with this project demonstrates how effective this strategy can be.”

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