HIE At A Crossroads

Anthony Brino | Government Health IT | April 28, 2014

In the five years since the HITECH Act brought funding for public health information exchanges, the technology and the organizations that offer it have seen a varied evolution. Today, HIE as a whole is at a crossroads, with much of the public funding running out, but health data exchange services are more important than ever.

“The current landscape in health information exchange around the country is a bit disjointed, because the cooperative agreement programs have wound down now,” said Brian Ahier, a long-time healthcare technologist who recently took a job as director of standards and government affairs at Medicity, Aetna’s population health and HIE business.

“We’re looking at a number of public HIEs that are in some cases sort of scrambling for business models that are going to carry into the future. The jury is obviously still out on the long-term prospects of a lot of these organizations around the country,” said Ahier. “I think you’re going to see over the next couple of years that those HIEs that are providing value to their membership, to the hospitals and physicians that need to share information, are really going to succeed.”

A number of public HIEs have already shut down and there’s a lot of pressure on other HIEs to increase their value proposition for providers physicians, payers and, if they’re publicly funded, state governments...