Look inside some of the most established HIEs and how they help U.S. health organizations share data, in the name of lower costs and better patient care.
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Greater Houston's Healthconnect, launched in 2010, is an independent, community-based organization responsible for enabling information exchange among healthcare providers in a 20-county region of Houston that has 7 million people. Healthconnect's goal is to mobilize healthcare information electronically across organizations to enhance the safety, quality, and efficiency of care and improve information access throughout the region. Still under development, Healthconnect envisions eventually providing an array of services, including secure provider-to-provider communication; a community health record--a clinical summary for a patient from all participating organizations; and a referral exchange. Other services being planned include electronic results delivery; surveillance and state reporting; integration into EHR platforms; and HIE-to-HIE data exchange.
Healthconnect's tiered pricing structure reflects the number of physicians in the practice group, and net patient revenue and discharges for major hospital systems. "We have Medicaid managed care plans and commercial payers paying per member per month for their number of covered lives," said a Healthconnect spokeswoman. "The model was created based upon benchmarking with all successful, sustainable HIEs in the U.S." In addition, Healthconnect "also anticipates local philanthropy to subsidize the connection costs for some of safety net clinics and charity care," she said.