The Orlando Sentinel on Monday looked at the growing momentum behind the Central Florida Regional Health Information Organization, which is one of at least five RHIOs being launched in Florida.
The Central Florida RHIO in January received a state grant of $108,000, which will be matched by the Winter Park Health Foundation. The funding will pay for a full-time director as well as research and development that will allow the RHIO to begin operation early next year, the Sentinel reports.
When it starts operation in 2007, the Central Florida RHIO will include the region's two largest providers - Florida Hospital and Orlando Regional Healthcare - as well as Physician Associates of Florida, which is one of the area's largest physician groups. During the pilot phase, which is expected to take two years, the RHIO also will include Healthcare for the Homeless, the Orange County Primary Care Network and the Cognoscenti Health Institute.
Becky Cherney, chair of the Central Florida RHIO, said Central Florida is on the forefront of a national RHIO movement but that a primary challenge in the next few years will be to create incentives for small- and medium-sized physician offices. She estimated that, in five years, 60% to 70% of the Central Florida health care market will participate in the RHIO (Wessel, Orlando Sentinel, 1/23).