Florida launches EHR project for Medicaid recipients

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The Florida Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) has started a test project for the implementation of EHRs for Medicaid recipients, the Florida interChange system.

The project is part of an 87-month, $308 million contract AHCA awarded the contractor EDS last year for design, development and implementation of an upgraded Medicaid system, the agency said.

The test uses medical-claims data to create an EHRs for each Medicaid beneficiary from the Tallahassee, Fla. area, according to AHCA. The records will eventually hold lab and radiology results and other important medical information, the agency said.

After review and analysis of the test, the agency said it plans to implement EHR for Medicaid recipients across all of Florida and go live in 2008.

State officials and EDS are coordinating their efforts with the Big Bend Regional Health Information Organization to ensure compatibility with the local health information exchange initiative, using an EHR system from CentriHealth, according to AHCA.

"The innovative deployment of health information technology has enormous potential to improve patient outcomes and reduce costs," said Andy Agwunobi, MD, secretary of AHCA. "This pilot project addresses one of the agency’s highest priorities, and we look forward to working with EDS to bring this valuable tool to our Medicaid providers and beneficiaries.”