Participating in health information exchanges can have financial benefits for both payers and health care providers, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, FierceEMR reports.
For the study, University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers analyzed 4,639 emergency department encounters at three large Milwaukee facilities over a one-year period to determine the benefits of patients' health data access through an HIE.
Researchers found that access to patient data through an HIE resulted in "net gains" for both payers and health care providers.
Reducing unnecessary hospitalizations and preventing repeat ED visits were responsible for more than 70% of the total cost savings, according to the study.
Payers experienced financial benefits through decreased reimbursements because of reductions in tests, hospitalizations and ED visits.
Although health care providers saw a decrease in compensation for treating fewer commercial fee-for-service patients, it was offset by reduced spending on a larger group of Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, according to the study. Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements are significantly lower, FierceEMR reports (Durben Hirsch, FierceEMR, 6/27).