Press Releases



Innovative electronic communications and health information technology (HIT) in medicine are transforming the nation’s health care system, state by state.

The Office of the National Coordinator for HIT (ONC) under Dr. Farzad Mostashari lauded Ohio, Kentucky and Maine in Washington, D.C. at an annual event today, recognizing them as states using health information technology in ways that will make a meaningful difference in health care for patients.

“Ohio demonstrates how the coordination of federal Regional Extension Center, Health Information Exchange and Beacon Community grants – as well as the cooperation of Ohio’s governmental agencies – are creating an environment where meaningful use and building interoperability will make a huge impact on the quality of health care,” Dr. Mostashari said.

"Ultimately, leading states will show how we can use health IT to provide better health care, improved patient health outcomes and lower health care costs across the nation,” he said.

Ohio received recognition this morning for its collaborative work in advancing primary care physicians’ adoption of electronic health records, having signed up 7,500 physicians since the federal program started two years ago. 

In addition, more than 8,200 physicians and hospitals statewide have met federal “meaningful use” requirements for using electronic health records, which is a way to record, track and report health information and outcomes that can help coordinate communication and care for patients.

As a result, more than $368 million in Medicaid and Medicare incentive payments have helped reduce technology costs and improve workflow for physicians and hospitals through the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Ohio Medicaid now ranks fifth in the nation for the number of payments distributed., including more than 3,346 eligible professionals and 135 hospitals for a total of $159 million in disbursements.

“We’re especially proud of the collaboration with ONC, our partners across the state and the grass-roots efforts merging, which will help transform the way our Ohio citizens receive health care,” said Dan Paoletti, CEO of the Ohio Health Information Partnership located just outside of Columbus, Ohio. “While this is an evolutionary process, it will assist in creating a revolution in health care.”

David Groves, executive director of the Tri-State Regional Extension Center said, “For more than a decade, Greater Cincinnati has been a recognized leader in the use of technology and collaboration to improve health care cost, quality and outcomes. HealthBridge is pleased to partner with ONC and other organizations in Ohio to accelerate and spread the use of health information technology to modernize our health care system.”

Groves stated that the Beacon and REC programs are demonstrating that health information technology wedded with improvements in clinical care can reduce emergency department visits and hospital admissions, ensure patient information is available wherever it is needed and empower practices to operate in a more patient-centered way.

These changes have also laid the groundwork for an innovative regional program among Medicare, Ohio Medicaid and commercial health plans to reward doctors for keeping people healthy rather than just paying for when patients are sick, he said.

Dr. Ted Wymyslo, the director of the Ohio Department of Health and a family physician, said steps are underway to streamline the reporting of electronic lab reports, immunization records and pandemic information through health information exchanges, resulting in a more accurate and proactive approach to population health.

“Health information technology gives health care providers the support they need to provide health care that is truly patient-centered,” Dr. Wymyslo said. “The adoption of electronic health records and the use of electronic health information exchanges is providing more effective health care, and saving time, money and even lives.”

The State’s efforts through the Ohio Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative will be accelerated through the use of health information technology, making it easier for the 284 practices involved to communicate patient information to members of a care team.

To provide the health information technology workers trained in electronic health information implementation and exchange, the MidWest Community College HIT Consortium is now preparing students.

“Ohio is ready to meet the HIT needs of our hospitals, health systems and practices and to provide jobs for people who may have been displaced from other fields,” said Norma Morganti, director of the consortium.

“We now have 1,062 graduates and 504 students currently enrolled in HIT training in four of our Ohio community colleges. Our average student has 10 or more years of experience and 50 percent hold a B.A. or higher degree. These are well-qualified candidates for the HIT demands now occurring,” Morganti said.

Paoletti said the ultimate goal of the statewide MU acceleration team is to keep the momentum moving so providers have the ability to communicate with one another electronically, enabling access to the right information at the right time for the care of their patients.

“Our partnerships and collaboration will result in the use of health information exchange across all Ohio regions to ensure that hospitals and health systems can share patient information with doctors and each other, no matter where they are located.”

An ONC white paper delineates Ohio’s collaborative accomplishments, which can be accessed under Resources at

Background Information on the Ohio MU Acceleration Team:
•The Ohio Health Information Partnership, a state-designated nonprofit that oversees primary care physicians’ adoption of electronic health records and meaningful use achievement with seven Regional Extension Center partners as well as the establishment of a statewide health information exchange known as CliniSync;

•HealthBridge, a nonprofit health information exchange and federal Beacon Communityestablished in 1997 that covers the Cincinnati area as well as counties in Kentucky and Indiana;

•The Ohio Department of Health under the Governor’s Office of Health Transformation, which oversees population health, patient-centered medical home initiatives and public health reporting;
•Ohio Medicaid the state office that coordinates registration and payment of physicians and hospitals that reach meaningful use in the federal EHR Incentive Programs; and
•The Midwest Community College HIT Consortium, a collaborative of 17 community colleges in the Midwest area, including Cleveland Community, Cincinnati State, Columbus State, and Sinclair Community colleges in Ohio.


For more information, contact Dottie Howe, Director of Communications at the Ohio Health Information Partnership, at 614-664-2605 or