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Care Coordination and Integration 

Care coordination across practice areas such as behavioral health and general medical services relies on accessing patient health information quickly, securely and according to current patient consent laws. The Illinois Health Information Exchange (ILHIE) offers several services to transmit protected health information electronically across the healthcare ecosystem.

The good news is that these services scale to small single provider practices and community-based providers with little to no IT budget, as well as to comprehensive medical centers. One service, secure email (ILHIE Direct) requires no more than a computer with a web browser and an internet connection. ILHIE Direct works just like conventional email and can attach documents, such as PDFs, to the message. If your office uses an electronic health records system, ILHIE Direct can be integrated into the system (Integrated Direct) for seamless, single sign-on access. Patient record retrieval (EHR Connect) can optimize any care environment that is currently using a certified electronic health record (EHR) system; the EHR can be connected directly to the ILHIE for accessing real-time patient information and transmitting public health reporting.

The resource documents on this page target behavioral health providers, critical access hospitals and other providers offering services beyond traditional medical care that are preparing to exchange patient health information electronically across practice areas or are in the process of upgrading their health information technology. These resources are meant to be helpful aids as providers move toward integrating or coordinating patient care via the ILHIE.

Menu of Services Offered by the ILHIE to Providers

  1. Integrated Direct (ILHIE Direct Integrated into your EHR System)
  2. EHR Connect (Patient Record Request and Retrieval)

Tools You Can Use

HIE Readiness

Use Cases

Sample Policies & Procedures


Legal Requirements

Electronic Health Record (EHR) Certification

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) Certification Program provides a defined process to ensure that Electronic Health Record (EHR) technologies meet the adopted standards and certification criteria to help providers and hospitals achieve Meaningful Use (MU) objectives and measures established by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).  

Eligible professionals and eligible hospitals who seek to qualify for incentive payments under the Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs are required to use certified EHR technology.

  • Click here to visit the ONC website for EHR Certification

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)

The HIPAA Privacy Rule establishes a foundation of Federal protection for personal health information, carefully balanced to avoid creating unnecessary barriers to the delivery of quality health care.

  • Click here for additional information about HIPAA

The Illinois Mental Health Confidentiality Act

The Illinois Legislature enacted, and on August 16, 2013 Governor Pat Quinn signed into law, Public Act 98-0378 (formerly HB1017), which amends the Illinois Mental Health Confidentiality Act. The amendment allows for the exchange of patient mental health data via the Health Information Exchange (HIE), and gives patients the choice of sharing or not sharing their health information through the HIE. The amendment also allows providers to share patient mental health information for care coordination and interagency purposes without the consent of the patient.

Confidentiality of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Patient Records

42 CFR Part 2 is the federal regulation that governs alcohol and drug abuse patient records at addiction treatment facilities. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) of the US Department of Health and Human Services provides oversight of this regulation.
  • Click here to read the federal regulation 42 CFR Part 2
SAMHSA offers additional resources for health information as it relates to alcohol and substance abuse.

Behavioral Health Integration Project (BHIP)

The goal of the Behavioral Health Integration Project (BHIP) was to promote the exchange of health information among behavioral health and medical care providers to achieve better care. Grant activities helped licensed substance abuse and mental health practitioners to better coordinate patient care with their clients’ primary care providers through secure electronic health information exchange. Ensuring appropriate access to relevant patient information, such as current medications and medication history, holds great promise for improving the overall health of patients.

BHIP Homepage