CRISP’s Craig Behm Parses the Panorama Across the Way forward for HIEs

Late final 12 months, Craig Behm was formally named president and CEO of CRISP, which describes itself as “a regional well being data change (HIE) serving Maryland, the District of Columbia, West Virginia, and the encompassing areas. A non-profit group suggested by a variety of stakeholders who’re answerable for healthcare all through the area, CRISP has been formally designated as Maryland’s statewide well being data change by the Maryland Well being Care Fee. Well being data change permits scientific data to maneuver electronically amongst disparate well being data methods.”

Behm’s appointment was introduced in an Oct. 5 press launch. It famous that “Behm, who has been instrumental within the success of HIE efforts all through Maryland and the area, plans to broaden associate and affiliate collaborations to advocate for native, industry-led options to interoperability and removing of public well being obstacles. CRISP and its affiliate HIEs will proceed to construct on sturdy relationships with suppliers, Medicaid and well being departments, neighborhood organizations and different HIEs.”

“Each affiliate must be a necessary a part of the healthcare continuum of their area, and we are going to proceed to generate even extra worth over time by tapping our wealthy legacy of innovation and management throughout the information change {industry},” Behm stated in an announcement contained within the press launch.

On the identical time that he was named president and CEO of CRISP, Behm was additionally named president and CEO of CRISP Shared Services, described on the group’s web site as “a non-profit help group that gives know-how infrastructure and different core companies to Well being Data Exchanges (HIEs) throughout the US. We’re totally different than a vendor in that every of our Member HIEs participates within the governance of the group.”

Because the Oct. 5 press launch famous, “Behm brings wealthy expertise each in value-based cost reform and well being data know-how. He was the Govt Director of MedChi Community Companies, a subsidiary of the Maryland state medical society, the place he led the start-up of three Advance Cost Medicare Shared Financial savings Program Accountable Care Organizations. He then labored at a well being data software program, technique and companies firm, and centered on the modernization efforts for Maryland’s distinctive all-payer hospital fee setting system. These experiences proved important as CRISP enabled the knowledge and analytics points of the Facilities for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation complete price of care demonstration mannequin.”

Additional, the press launch famous, Behm “most just lately served as Govt Director of CRISP, a key function in connecting healthcare suppliers and the Maryland Division of Well being. He oversaw all statewide actions, together with buyer engagement, product implementation and reporting companies. He was instrumental in passing key laws through the previous two Maryland legislative classes, together with a statute to create the primary Well being Knowledge Utility within the nation.”

“I’m lucky to be taking the helm of such an exquisite group with so many gifted and devoted employees. We’re desperate to discover new alternatives to advance well being and wellness,” Behm stated at the moment. “Our stakeholders see our dedication to problem-solving by means of deep engagement round our area and throughout the nation. This can proceed to be the basis of all the things we do.”

The press launch famous that “CRISP shares the applied sciences it develops with different HIEs nationwide by means of CRISP Shared Companies. Important tasks along side different HIEs embody: West Virginia Well being Data Community (WVHIN) — finish of life registry reporting the place sufferers submit one doc to at least one place; and various initiatives with CRISP DC — a consent instrument developed with the Division of Well being Care Finance for change of sufferers’ behavioral well being data; social determinants of well being instruments by means of the DC Group Useful resource Data Change (CoRIE) undertaking; and encounter notifications that alert suppliers in real-time, flagging when their sufferers have been handled by emergency medical companies to make sure acceptable follow-up remedy.”

And it famous that “Behm replaces David Horrocks, who was president and CEO of CRISP when it was created in 2009. Brandon Neiswender returns to his function as VP & Chief Technique Officer after serving as appearing CEO since February when Horrocks left to grow to be CEO of the New York eHealth Collaborative.”

In early December, Behm spoke with Healthcare Innovation Editor-in-Chief Mark Hagland to debate his imaginative and prescient for CRISP going ahead in 2023, and his views on the well being data change phenomenon within the foreseeable future. Beneath are excerpts from that interview.

Coming into the CEO place, what are your largest strategic targets, as we glance ahead into subsequent 12 months?

I’ve began to speak about success when it comes to being a well being knowledge utility fairly than a well being data change. In my view, the native HIEs must be the one-stop store for well being knowledge on behalf of the state, with the broadest purpose being to construct effectivity all through the healthcare system by having a single pipe amongst knowledge submitters and receivers, and offering a one-stop store for anybody needing to work with them. If I’m a state well being division, possibly I ought to go to the well being knowledge utility to acquire combination knowledge for public well being functions; or to help state welfare businesses, with regard to the wants of youngsters; and so forth. And the visible mannequin for this can be a flywheel, the place the extra knowledge you may have within the infrastructure, the extra helpful it will likely be for everyone. My favourite instance is immunizations. At first, through the COVID-19 pandemic, the purpose was to find out immunization charges for COVID. And we stated, we must also attain out to physicians so that they can do proactive outreach to sufferers and populations, particularly underserved ones. And we stated to the state, we now have a greater MMPI, why don’t we help you? So it’s three, 4, 5 occasions extra highly effective than it will have had been in any other case.

There was a lot speak of utilizing public well being knowledge for biosurveillance functions once we have been residing by means of the depth of the pandemic. Has that sense of urgency been misplaced since then?

I believe it’s crucial to battle the following battle, not the final battle; that’s one of many issues I realized from David [Horrocks]. And I actually don’t need to be speaking about COVID anymore. However what many HIEs, together with ours, did, proved the necessity for this strong public well being knowledge infrastructure. And we have been working with the Baltimore Public Colleges, and realized there have been all kinds of public well being issues we may do with them, associated to entry, attendance, and many others. I believe we have to act shortly to explain the worth of well being knowledge utilities, in order that the imaginative and prescient is on the market.

What are the most important challenges that you simply and your colleagues are going through proper now?

After I work with our associate states, I attempt to describe success in two alternative ways. One is round depth: It’s necessary that public well being knowledge utilities do a number of issues, help work round a number of points, together with across the social determinants of well being, for instance. The pure problem turns into coverage. I believe we now have a mannequin for an impartial non-profit controlling knowledge governance based mostly on what its stakeholders say. And even in states the place we now have quite a lot of depth, we’re usually beginning conversations over and over once more with administrators of various departments. The opposite aspect of success is breadth: we have to have extra well being knowledge utilities throughout the nation. We wish states to have native management and belongings, after which to have the option to share extra broadly. So in that context, the most important problem has to do with the sustainability. There must be some mixture of funders to maintain the utility working, after which all knowledge must be fully free to anybody who’s allowed to have it. And we’re funded by means of a mix of participant charges, the well being division and federal Medicaid {dollars}, in Maryland. And that creates the chance for researchers, and so forth.

Funding stays an enormous concern for HIEs total, although, appropriate?

It does. We all the time first remind ourselves, we don’t exist for the sake of current. And people locations that merely stood up HIEs as a result of the grant funding was obtainable, have been the primary to drop. And the tradition that David constructed—we aren’t competing with the commoditized knowledge merchandise or federal requirements or for-profit distributors. We’re working with eHealth Change as our QHIN… And my opinion is should you’re combating to cease extra environment friendly point-to-point knowledge switch mechanisms, you’ve already misplaced. It’s extra environment friendly to have sharers authenticated as soon as after which knowledge handed ahead. It’s nonetheless onerous; we’re seeking to drive worth.

What does the panorama appear to be for you and your colleagues within the HIE world, over the following few years?

We’re going to be spending quite a lot of time establishing that depth. I want every of my affiliate HIEs to maneuver effectively alongside the maturity curve of HIE growth. We have to maintain constructing their credibility, knowledge connectivity and companies of their states. So quite a lot of time can be spent supporting knowledge use agreements, and many others. I’m going to be leaning extra into the coverage discussions, to be able to describe what we expect will work. And clearly, well being fairness points have been all the time round, however have actually been highlighted by means of COVID. And I believe well being knowledge utilities, even in one thing so simple as race and ethnicity knowledge, have a job to play. We’re in all probability the finest sources for that knowledge. So, working with stakeholders. And eventually, we’re seeing social determinants of well being and community-based organizations because the new frontier of well being knowledge change. And the chance is that the information turns into siloed or managed by means of quirks that platforms and distributors develop, fairly than letting the information move interoperably from the beginning. So on the subject of issues like referral platforms… I believe it’s a mistake for states to mandate particular platforms, however as an alternative encourage interoperably. And that is self-serving, however the profitable HIEs are ethe proper platforms for that interoperability.

Is there something you’d like so as to add?

I’ll double down on my pleasure for well being knowledge utilities. The technical capabilities have grow to be so strong; and lots of stakeholders merely don’t perceive what we will do now, so they should get inventive of their asks.