The Kentucky and Tri-State Regional Extension Centers (RECs) have announced a new initiative to help physician practices and clinics in Kentucky achieve better health, better outcomes and lower costs for patients.

“We are delighted to offer support to practices as they prepare for the many changes ahead in health care,” stated Rob Edwards, executive director of the Kentucky REC. “We are excited to announce new services to support innovative models, such as patient centered medical home, that are proven to help practices deliver coordinated, cost-effective care for their patients.”

The Kentucky and Tri-State RECs held a kickoff event in Lexington for 30 practices interested in learning about new models to improve health care. The seminar served as an introduction to practice transformation, the idea that practices can integrate quality improvement methods with meaningful use of technology, patient-centered care and payment innovation to dramatically improve health care quality, outcomes and cost.

At the event, the RECs also released a “Practice Transformation Road Map.” This publication is a user-friendly guide for practices interested in participating in practice transformation initiatives. The Road Map contains background, case studies and exercises for practices interested in pursuing such innovative new care delivery and payment models such as Accountable Care Organizations or Patient Centered Medical Home.

“Our organizations have helped hundreds of providers implement electronic health records and qualify for federal incentive funds. But electronic health records are just a start,” said Dr. Richard Shonk, chief medical officer for the Tri-State REC and the health collaborative partners with the Kentucky REC on this initiative. “We now want to help practices prepare for the next wave of innovation by using technology together with changes in practice culture and work flow to radically improve patients’ experience of care and the effectiveness of the health care system overall.”

Both RECs will offer individualized coaching services, group seminars and staff training to help practices that want to prepare for and implement new models for delivering and paying for health care. In particular, the RECs have certified practice coaches that can assist practices pursuing recognition as a patient centered medical home.

Kentucky practices interested in learning more about this new initiative can contact the Kentucky REC at 859-323-3090. Practices in the Greater Cincinnati Tri-State region can contact the Tri-State REC at 513-469-7222.

The Kentucky REC and Tri-State REC operate programs designed to assist clinicians in Kentucky with becoming meaningful users of electronic health records (EHRs) and use technology to improve care. The Kentucky REC and Tri-State REC are both grantees under the Regional Extension Center Program funded by the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) for Health Information Technology.  

About Kentucky REC

The Kentucky Regional Extension Center, housed at the University of Kentucky, is a Trusted Advisor in Health Information Technology working with healthcare organizations to enhance the quality, efficiency, and effectiveness of care through Electronic Health Information. The Kentucky REC is one of 60 regional extension centers across the country commissioned by the Office of the National Coordinator to help providers and hospitals transition to EHR technology. Kentucky REC implementation specialists provide resources and guidance to help providers gain federal incentives through the Meaningful Use Incentive Program. To date, the Kentucky REC is assisting more than 2,800 providers and more than a third of all Kentucky hospitals. The Kentucky REC has helped providers in Kentucky secure over $81 million in Meaningful Use incentive dollars. Kentucky REC services include: Meaningful Use Assistance, EHR Implementation & Optimization, HIPAA Privacy & Security Risk Analysis, Patient-Centered Medical Home Consulting, and ICD-10 Road-mapping. For more information about the Kentucky REC, visit  Follow @KentuckyREC on Twitter and connect with us on Facebook at

Media Contacts: Megan Housley, 606-233-1894 and Kristi Lopez, 859-323-6363