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KC safety-net clinics get computer links, thanks to health care foundation

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The Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City will help three Kansas City safety net clinics share patient data electronically with providers throughout Missouri.

The foundation said in a news release Monday that it’s paying $375,000 to hook up Swope Health System, Samuel U. Rodgers Health Center and KC CARE Clinic to Missouri Health Connection (MHC).

The funding will also help another Kansas City nonprofit, Artists Helping the Homeless, make referrals to hospitals and clinics via encrypted emails.

Based in Columbia, Mo., MHC is the state-designated health information exchange provider. It has a network of more than 7,000 physicians along with more than 70 hospitals and 350 clinics and community health centers.

MHC also connects with the Missouri Medicaid program.

According to the foundation, the three Kansas City clinics serve more than 68,000 patients combined at 17 sites.

Foundation officials said they are making their contribution in conjunction with a grant from Saint Luke’s Health System.

“The benefits of information technology are not an event, but an evolution, and we appreciate the willingness of providers to work on these complex efforts on behalf of their patients,” Dr. Bridget McCandless, president and CEO of the foundation, said in the release.

Editor’s note: The Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City helps fund Heartland Health Monitor’s health coverage.

Mike Sherry is a reporter for KCPT television in Kansas City, Mo., a partner in the Heartland Health Monitor team.

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