Funder: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

August 2010 | Profile


Like many states, Arkansas is looking to advance its use of health information technology (HIT) to link public and private health care stakeholders and transform chronic care delivery. In alignment with HIT meaningful use incentives of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA),1 the state has sought to: (1) enhance health information exchange (HIE) to help providers share patient information and better manage chronic illnesses; and (2) measure provider-level performance across payers and give aggregated feedback to physicians. The state’s participation in the Center for Health Care Strategies’ (CHCS) Regional Quality Improvement (RQI) initiative, launched three years prior to passage of ARRA, was critical to that commitment.

CHCS designed RQI to align purchasers — Medicaid, state employers, commercial, and self-insured — and health plans to target common chronic conditions, adopt shared performance measures, and develop consistent reimbursement to support a uniform set of provider interventions. The multi-state program, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), also included North Carolina, Rhode Island, and Rochester, NY.

This profile describes Arkansas’ RQI program, which entailed designing a common HIE strategy, and calculating shared chronic care performance measures for providers in the state.