The nonprofit HealthInfoNet is working with the state of Maine to create a new, $4 million health information exchange that officials say will help improve care for insured and uninsured patients statewide.
With the demonstration phase for HealthInfoNet, Maine's statewide health information exchange, set for completion by midyear, officials are already planning to increase the network. "Both hospitals and physician practices are engaged in discussions with HealthInfoNet in preparation for executing contracts to move forward," said Devore Culver, HealthInfoNet's executive director.
New York state will require health facilities investing in IT systems to ensure they work with the Statewide Health Information Network for New York. The state may be among the first to use the certificate of need process to promote interoperability of health information systems.
HealthInfoNet, Maine's health information exchange network, will begin exchanging lab and radiology results at the end of November, with a goal of beginning a clinician exchange in May of next year. The second phase will include the exchange of medication history, diagnoses and allergies.
Vermont is moving legislation forward that would impose a fee on all medical claims to raise funds to create a statewide HIE and provide grants to independent physicians to encourage them to adopt EMRs. A recent state House vote on the issue "indicates strong bipartisan support for providing doctors with the tools to collect electronic medical records and, with patients' consent, share them with other doctors and hospitals," said an expert.
The Military Interoperable Digital Hospital Testbed will explore how the Defense and Veterans Affairs departments can share health information with private providers, especially rural health physicians. A Web portal accessible from a browser will be the likely interface for the data sharing, an official said.