About the NRAA HIE
The thing to keep in mind about the NRAA HIE is that it does not store or maintain data that the smaller or independent dialysis clinics deliver.
"All it is really is a tunnel," Chow said. "You've got one end, where the data is coming from, and the other end is CMS. All we are is the middle conduit that floats data to them. If there are issues or problems with the data then it goes from CMS to the provider back to the facility and the facility works with their EMR to fix it."
The way the system was created was on what CMS wanted as well as being a part of the Nationwide Health Information Network (NwHIN).
"That's the government standard on how they wanted this put together and it had to be approved in that model," Chow said.
The NRAA went through many different phases and pilots to get to where it is today with the approval from CMS. When CROWNWeb began its pilots, the NRAA HIE was also involved at the same time.
Currently, there 13 EMR vendors that are certified for NRAA HIE for CROWNWeb. These vendors have gone through an approval process through CMS and the NRAA.
"If you are a provider today, and you have a certified EMR vendor, meaning you are using one of them and are eligible to use the HIE, that is your choice," Chow said.
There is a fee to use the system and it is based on a member and non-member price.
"The pricing is $28 per patient per year, for the NRAA member, or $33 per patient per year, for a non-member," Chow said. "We set it up per patient per year and whatever size you might be, you won't be treated with an additional discount because you're 5,000 versus 300 patients. We thought this was the best way of doing it and the board really guided us through that."
Chow believes that this can save people money.
"When you start counting by treatment or divide it up by 12 months and really go into it by treatments, you are looking at a very small amount," he said.
Although there is this new process, the manual process is still there for those who need it. Some providers don't have the capability, the system or are hospital based.
The ultimate goal of NRAA HIE is to seem more vendors so those who have the capability to use electronic data can.
"As a whole, we are interested in being part of the process of HIE IT and the utilization of the entire ESRD community," Chow said. "The HIE is an area that can be expanded on and we can looking. Currently, we are focused on this to be successful and a true alternative option."