Minnesota Unveils Plans for Health Information Exchange

Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty (R) and leaders from several health care organizations on Monday unveiled a plan to create one of the largest health information exchanges in the U.S., the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal reports.

The Minnesota Health Information Exchange includes:

  • Allina Hospitals & Clinics;
  • Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota;
  • HealthPartners, a not-for-profit HMO; and
  • Medica, a health plan provider (Wyant, Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal, 9/10).

Several hospitals also will be included in the network, which will provide data on more than three million patients beginning in early 2008 (AP/San Francisco Examiner, 9/10).

Pawlenty called the health information exchange a "pioneering innovation" that would improve health care quality and "help us contain costs in Minnesota as well" (Lerner, Minneapolis Star Tribune, 9/10).

The health data exchange will operate as a not-for-profit corporation and be supported by subscriber fees and funding from its founding organizations.

Physicians using the system will be able to access patient medication histories, lab orders and test results. The system in the future is expected to provide electronic radiology reports, disease surveillance and electronic prescription forms (Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal, 9/10).

Broadcast Coverage

Minnesota Public Radio on Monday reported on the information exchange. The segment includes comments from:

  • Pawlenty;
  • Mary Brainerd, president and CEO of HealthPartners;
  • Colleen Reitan, president and COO of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota; and
  • Twila Brase of the Citizens' Council on Health Care (Benson, Minnesota Public Radio, 9/10).

A transcript of the segment is available online.

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