What is the Beacon Community of the Inland Northwest (BCIN)?
Led by Inland Northwest Health Services (INHS), the Beacon Community of the Inland Northwest (BCIN) is one of 15 communities across the country selected by DHHS to serve as pilot communities for eventual wide-scale use of health information technology. Funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the agreement will allow the BCIN to focus on increased care coordination for patients with diabetes in rural areas and extend the existing INHS health information exchange through collaboration to provide a higher level of connectivity throughout the region.
The BCIN represents a wide geographic region in eastern Washington and northern Idaho which is predominately rural with a large proportion of traditionally medically underserved populations. In addition to INHS other BCIN partners include Community Choice, Washington State Department of Health, the Washington Academy of Family Physicians, the Critical Access Hospital Network, SAIC and the North Central Washington Health Collaborative. Twenty-five hospitals, 18 federally-qualified health centers and more than 3200 physicians, as well as pharmacies and long term care agencies across the region have indicated interest in collaborating on the BCIN.
The BCIN focuses on providing enhanced decision support tools focused on diabetes management to participating organizations in part through the expansion of health information exchange. Training and support will be provided to participating organizations in practice changes necessary to coordinate care for patients with diabetes. A centralized care coordination resource will be provided to support organizations that do not have sufficient resources internally. A main purpose of BCIN is to facilitate communication between participating organizations to ensure consistency, promote better care transitions and provide overall project coordination. The BCIN will also expand and provide support for systems that enable quality measurement and reporting.
What are the benefits to participation?
The BCIN will provide access to care coordination and related support services for chronic disease management that lead to improved clinical outcomes. Participants will receive technology support for connecting to Health Information Exchange (HIE). Additionally, the BCIN will provide a comprehensive solution that will enable participants to meet requirements for Meaningful Use incentive payments and position participants for engaging in medical home, accountable care organizations, or other payment reform programs
What will Beacon funds pay for?
The BCIN funding is focused on establishing regional infrastructure for health information exchange and care coordination. Additionally, BCIN funds interface between the HIE and electronic medical record and hospital information systems; development of Care Coordination and Quality Measurement modules and integration with the HIE; care coordination services and support; training and technical support; and project management.
What is the timetable for the project?
The Care Coordination services will be rolled out in three stages, starting with the Spokane area in January of 2011, followed by North Central Washington, then Northeastern Washington and Idaho. Enrollment of interested providers has already begun at Community Choice.
If you are interested in participating in the Beacon Project, please download and complete the Beacon Participation Interest Form below, or fill out the contact form above.
For additional information about Beacon, please visit, beaconcommunity.org