Report Predicts More Health Care Providers Will Link Up With HIEs

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Health care providers are expected to scale up their participation in health information exchanges over the next 18 to 24 months, according to a report by Frost & Sullivan, FierceHealthIT reports.

Factors Contributing to HIE Market Growth

The report -- titled, "U.S. Health Information Exchange Market: A Comprehensive Guide to Market Dynamics, Technology Vendors and Future Trends" -- found that the Supreme Court's decision to uphold the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act and President Obama's re-election are among many factors contributing to the growth of the health data exchange market.

Other factors include:

  • The Stage 2 meaningful use requirement on health information exchange; and
  • Stronger technical standards to ensure interoperability.

Under the 2009 federal economic stimulus package, health care providers who demonstrate meaningful use of certified electronic health record systems can qualify for Medicaid and Medicare incentive payments.

Challenges to HIE Market Growth

According to the report, challenges impeding the growth of the health data exchange market include:

  • Competing IT priorities and time constraints;
  • Costs and lack of return on investment;
  • Fear of losing a competitive market advantage;
  • A lack of uniform goals and strategic vision; and
  • Questions about overall market direction.

Factors Influencing HIE Market Growth

The report also identified factors that influence short- and long-term growth in the health data exchange market, such as:

  • Cost-reduction and operational efficiency initiatives;
  • Growing adoption of EHR systems; and
  • Health care provider consolidation.

Major Market Trends and Issues

In addition, the report identified major trends and issues in the health data exchange market, such as:

  • Conflict between data transparency and privacy;
  • Increasing efforts to ensure the viability of public health data exchange;
  • A short-term benefit for private health information exchanges prompted by health care providers' transition to accountable care organizations;
  • Slight growth in cloud and mobile health information exchange; and
  • Vendors seeking to differentiate themselves through value-added health data exchange services (Bird, FierceHealthIT, 11/27).
John Trader
So so important that healthcare organizations are working hard to address the roadblocks that inhibit the open and free exchange of health data through HIEs. I didn't see any mention of establishing a high level of data integrity (ie - a squeaky clean MPI)before jumping into the HIE pool. Probably goes without saying that this should also be a major focus too since duplicate medical records, overlays, and other "dirty data" can have a major impact on the effectiveness of these exchanges.

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