Creating Sustainable Health Information Exchanges (HIEs)
The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology has issued an RFP in 2009 for all States to obtain funding for health information exchanges. In responding to this RFP there are many issues to consider, one of which is how States propose to make their health information exchanges (HIE) financially sustainable.
The Global Institute for Emerging Healthcare Practices is the applied research arm of CSC’s Healthcare Group.
Historically, health information exchanges (HIEs) have faced numerous challenges to their viability, but arguably none has been more daunting than financial sustainability. Securing initial seed funding, usually through grants or similar awards, can put an HIE on the map. The Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONCHIT) is currently providing funding for such efforts through State-Level Cooperative Agreements, but these awards are usually given either at once, or during a brief window of time. Building and executing a business model that provides sufficient cash flow to support the HIE long term has eluded most efforts to date. As the program managers for NEHEN (New England Healthcare Exchange Network), one of the nation’s longest-running HIEs, we find that there are three core principles to creating and maintaining a HIE’s financial sustainability.
As managers of one of the longest-running health information exchanges in the nation, established in 1998, we believe that there are three core principles to follow when putting an electronic health information exchange on solid financial ground, as there are health information exchange benefits that can only be reaped when the HIE is implemented in a financially sustainable environment and supported by the strongest health information technology.
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