A Cornerstone of the Foundation’s Health Information Technology Vision for Community Health Centers

CHORUS, the only technology solution provider focused exclusively on meeting the needs of CHCs, helped fulfill the RCHN Community Health Foundation’s technology vision of providing community health centers with affordable access to cutting edge health information technology.

The RCHN Community Health Foundation has long been engaged in supporting health information technology (HIT) for the community health center (CHC) marketplace. In 2001, RCHN joined together with Presbyterian Medical Services of New Mexico (PMS) to obtain an interest in a practice management software development firm then known as MDSERVE, which had begun to establish a presence in the CHC marketplace. In 2003, RCHN and PMS acquired MDSERVE, and it became the first healthcare software development firm completely owned by CHC-related entities. The company name was later changed to Chorus. In 2008, RCHN CHF became the sole owner of Chorus. This milestone reflected RCHN’s commitment to establish HIT developed and delivered exclusively for CHCs, to address their unique operating needs.

Historically, traditional vendors were unable to meet the unique HIT needs of CHCs. While CHCs share many core HIT needs with other ambulatory care providers, the scope of what CHCs need to report and operate goes well beyond those basic requirements. In addition to routine clinical capabilities, financial management, and reporting, CHCs must meet stringent federal reporting requirements. Adding another layer of complexity are such factors as sliding fee scales and encounter billing, the need to interface with UDS and other systems such as PECS, and unique, state-specific requirements. Understanding the complex requirements for the operation of CHCs and the history of the HIT vendor marketplace, the Foundation supported the need for an affordable technology solution designed especially for health centers and delivered to support the unique operating needs and financial limitations faced by CHCs.

CHORUS, a firm focused solely on delivery of customized applications and services to CHCs, was a cornerstone of the Foundation’s HIT vision. The Foundation made a substantial program-related investment in CHORUS to help drive positive sustainable change for the CHC marketplace. After assessing health center needs and the HIT market, the Foundation decided to sell the company, to ensure that health centers’ continuing HIT needs are best served. Chorus was acquired from the Foundation in July 2009 by CySolutions, a privately held company.