New Funding Makes OCHIN Largest Health Center Controlled Network

July 29, 2019
Organization to partner with primary care associations on training, technical assistance across 14 states

OCHIN, a nonprofit organization that provides IT services and research to federally qualified health centers, has received three years of federal funding totaling $8.1 million to support health centers across the country.

Founded in 2000, Portland, Ore.-based OCHIN has 416 employees working in 26 states. It offers a centrally managed instance of Epic to more than 500 clinics focused on the safety net. 

The organization notes that 1 in 12 people living in the United States receive healthcare in a community health center. The award is part of the Health Center Controlled Network (HCCN) grant program through the Health Resources and Services Administration. The funding will help OCHIN to leverage technology to improve patient care coordination, reduce provider burden and increase connectivity to state immunizations registries, prescription drug monitoring programs, and health information exchanges.

"This award allows us to partner with care teams across the nation, meeting them where they are and supporting health centers as true quality leaders," said Abby Sears, OCHIN CEO, in a prepared statement.

Overall, HRSA awarded almost $42 million in funding to 49 HCCNs to support 1,183 federally funded health centers across all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.       

This three-year award makes OCHIN the largest HCCN in the nation, reaching primary care sites for more than 2 million patients. OCHIN will provide critical training and technical assistance across 14 states, partnering with primary care associations and other networks, including the Oregon Primary Care Association and Heartland Network in Nebraska and Iowa.  OCHIN's expertise includes EHR deployment and optimization as well as interoperability and telehealth infrastructure and a large research portfolio.

In 2017 OCHIN formed a partnership with the California Telehealth Network (CTN), a nonprofit provider of telecommunications infrastructure and telehealth services in California. The boards of the two organizations said bringing CTN into the OCHIN family would make additional resources and skills available across California.

OCHIN and CTN both participate in the FCC's Healthcare Connect Fund program, through which they provide telecommunications and health information technology infrastructures that improve healthcare access and quality in rural and medically underserved communities.