Stark Exception and the Community Health Record

I’ve spent the past year working with a health system that is taking advantage of the recent Stark exception and Anti-Kickback statutes and has donated the TouchWorks EHR to private physicians in the community. The health system, made up of two hospitals and a multi-specialty medical group, seized the opportunity to connect the community and help small, independent practices adopt an EHR.

In contrast to a traditional ASP or hosted model, this is a community health record where each provider along the continuum of care works exclusively from a fully shared patient record, updates the same medication list, allergy list and problem list. Instead of mailing a consult note, an independent physician can send a task to the referring provider at the host health system to review details of the visit. Coordinating a surgical procedure, a process that could take over 2 weeks in the pre-connected world, now happens in less than an hour as the primary care physician from the Medical Group and private specialist use tasking to communicate in the context of the patient record.

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