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Information for Providers

State Designated management service organizations (MSOs) provide technical assistance to health care providers in their engaging in practice transformation, adoption and use of health information technology (health IT), including implementing electronic health records (EHRs), reporting for MACRA and other quality initiatives, redesigning workflows, and facilitating patient engagement with health IT. State Designation requires MSOs to demonstrate they have met specific criteria to maintain high quality business operations and sound privacy and security policies.


State Designated MSOs emerged as a way to address the challenges associated with provider adoption of EHRs, including cost and maintenance of the technology and ensuring privacy and security of data stored electronically. State Designated MSOs provide technical assistance to health care providers in practice transformation and their adoption and use of health IT.

What are State Designated MSOs?

  • Organizations that are State Designated by the Maryland Health Care Commission
  • Must meet criteria to ensure the organization complies with industry best practices; the MSO State Designation criteria are listed in the MSO State Designation Application
  • Can be collaborations among provider groups, hospitals, or other entities that work together
  • Offer support services, including technical assistance and staff training, to practices as they adopt health IT and engage in practice transformation

Services Provided by State Designated MSOs

  • Assist with practice transformation efforts to maximize use of health IT for providers participating with innovative care delivery models, such as patient centered medical home (PCMH) programs and accountable care organizations (ACOs)
  • Assist practices in extracting reportable data from their EHRs required for quality initiatives, such as MACRA, PCMH programs, or ACOs
  • Provide assistance with redesigning workflows and care delivery processes for optimized use of health IT
  • Assist in implementing, maintaining, and optimizing use of an EHR system
  • Support providers in expanding their patients’ awareness and use of health IT
  • Offer services to connect to the State Designated health information exchange (HIE), the Chesapeake Regional Information System for our Patients (CRISP)

Benefits of Selecting a State Designated MSO

State Designated MSOs meet benchmarks for service, security, confidentiality, and accountability. MSOs will support practices in meeting the goals and objectives of an all-payer, population-based, hospital payment model aimed at reducing health care spending and improving the quality of care for the patients. In order to achieve practice transformation, it is essential for a practice to change their structure, make office system changes, use their own data to drive decision making, improve measures of clinical quality, and strive to continuously improve various aspects of their practice. Through resources, services and supports, MSOs will assist practices to achieve practice transformation objectives including: engage leadership; develop a quality improvement strategy; continuous and team-based healing relationships; organized, evidence-based care; patient-centered interactions; enhanced patient access to providers; and care coordination.

MSOs and the State Designated Health Information Exchange

The MHCC designated CRISP to build the statewide HIE. HIE is the technology that supports the flow of health information between physician practices, hospitals, labs, radiology centers, and other health care institutions. HIE allows delivery of patient information to the right place at the right time, providing safer, more timely, efficient, patient-centered care. MSOs may assist in connecting providers to the State Designated HIE. For more information about the HIE, please click here.

Additional Information Materials

Last Updated: 3/30/2017