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eHealth Initiative Health Information Exchange Forum Recap

The eHealth Initiative Health Information Exchange (HIE) Forum took place July 22, 2010 in Washington, DC. The one-day event coincided with the release of results of the 7th Annual eHealth Initiative Survey on HIEs report, The State of HIEs in 2010: Connecting the Nation to Meaningful Use. The report delves into the progress and challenges experienced by HIE entities nationwide, as well as recent activities in light of economic stimulus funding. The event included several panel discussions on HIE sustainability, inter-state coordination, connecting to the National Health Information Network (NHIN), engaging consumers, implementation and privacy. Moderators and panelists included a wealth of state health IT coordinators, vendors, directors and chief executive officers. Major takeaways centered on sustainability models, meaningful use's impact on HIEs, and the value of inter-state collaboration.

The financial sustainability of HIEs remains a key challenge facing the market. The eHealth Initiative Survey results provided a variety of responses with no clear correlation. Some HIE entities engage in subscription feeds, while others require transaction fees. As a result of the stimulus funding, some states have elected to partner with state designated entities (SDEs), which adds another element to the mix. At this time, it is unclear what the impact of SDEs will be, or how they will keep the doors open once federal funding runs out. Similar to the HIE entities; the failure of SDEs being financially viable could be a major detriment to the market. One thing is certain; the Office of the National Coordinator (ONC) doesn't have the money to fund full, comprehensive exchanges. Therefore, states and localities need to leverage resources to fill in the gaps. States will be looking to the vendor community for market innovation and new ways to address these pressing challenges. In addition, states that have yet to implement HIEs will be looking to states ahead of the curve for insights on best practices and business models.

GovWin HIE Pre-RFP Opportunities:

  • Illinois Opportunity #59517 - Statewide HIE
  • Ohio Opportunity #59145 - Statewide HIE
  • Mississippi Opportunity #61705 - Statewide Interoperable HIE
  • Connecticut Opportunity #58739 - Health Information Technology Exchange of CT
  • Massachusetts Opportunity #59998 - Statewide HIE

GovWin's Take:

HIEs play a crucial role in moving the health IT agenda forward as a vehicle to improve health care outcomes. This role cannot be understated. HIEs are a means to an end; a way to transform the health care industry and lay the groundwork for health care reform. State grantees will continue to push forward with HIE strategic and operational planning documents, which are due to the ONC towards the end of summer/early fall. Vendors will continue to play a major role in providing technical assistance planning, consultation, systems integration and implementation, IT equipment, and software.

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