Six New Members Join Mid-States Consortium of Health Information Organizations - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Six New Members Join Mid-States Consortium of Health Information Organizations

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SOURCE The Mid-States Consortium of Health Information Organizations

The Mid-States Consortium of HIOs Makes Progress toward its Advocacy and Interstate Exchange Goals

DENVER, June 25, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The Mid-States Consortium of Health Information Organizations announced today that six additional organizations have joined as members. The new health information organization (HIO) members are Illinois Health Information Exchange, Lewis and Clark Information Exchange, Michiana Health Information Network, Tiger Institute Health Alliance, Utah Health Information Network, and the Wisconsin Statewide Health Information Network. That brings the Mid-States Consortium of HIOs membership to 23 total organizations that span across 18 states in the Midwest and Rocky Mountain regions.

The Mid-States Consortium of HIOs formed in January 2014 and is collaborating to address data exchange challenges. The core objectives of the group include advocating for more robust forms of health information exchange (HIE), such as query-based HIE, and for health information to appropriately follow patients that require health care services outside of their home town or home state. The group is also addressing the challenges and unique needs of rural areas related to health information technology (HIT) and HIE.

The Mid-States Consortium of HIOs has established four workgroups that meet monthly to advance high-priority topic areas:

  1. Regulatory - Reviews proposed regulations, Meaningful Use requirements, certification requirements, and other regulatory issues that may arise and develops comments and recommendations for industry stakeholders.
  2. Payor Relations - Works with payors to develop best practices for data sharing to improve health care quality and reduce costs. 
  3. Provider Directory - Reviews provider directory efforts for near- and long-term solutions and recommends best practices to consortium members.
  4. Data Sharing - Discusses Data Use and Reciprocal Support Agreement (DURSA) and recommends modifications that would be acceptable to the consortium's members. This group will also identify technology strategies for connecting participating HIOs for purposes of transitions of care across state lines and HIO boundaries. 

In the past three months, the Mid-States Consortium of HIOs' members have successfully collaborated to discuss and synthesize recommendations that were submitted to national policy organizations regarding two critical HIT topics. The first set of recommendations were provided to the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) regarding proposed Stage 3 Meaningful Use criteria. The second set of recommendations were provided to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) about modifications to 42 CFR Part 2 that would enhance health care providers' capabilities to provide better care using HIT and HIE.

The following is a complete list of Mid-States Consortium of HIOs members:

  • Colorado Regional Health Information Organization
  • Community Health Information Collaborative (Minnesota)
  • Coordinated Care Oklahoma (Oklahoma Physician Health Exchange)
  • Health Information Network of Arizona
  • HealthShare, Montana, Inc.
  • Idaho Health Data Exchange
  • Illinois Health Information Exchange
  • Iowa Health Information Network
  • Kansas Health Information Network, Inc.
  • Lewis and Clark Information Exchange (Kansas City, Mo.)
  • Michiana Health Information Network (northern Indiana and southern Michigan)
  • Missouri Health Connection
  • MyHealth Access Network, Inc. (Oklahoma)
  • Nebraska Health Information Initiative
  • North Dakota Health Information Network
  • Quality Health Network (Colorado)
  • SMRTNET (Tulsa, Okla.)
  • South Dakota Health Link
  • Southeast Texas Health System
  • Tiger Institute Health Alliance (Columbia, Mo.)
  • Utah Health Information Network
  • Wisconsin Statewide Health Information Network

A 23rd organization, the Community Service Council, based out of Tulsa, Okla., is not an HIO but has joined the Mid-States Consortium of HIOs as a supporting organization.

A key premise in the establishment of the Mid-States Consortium of HIOs is that critical health information must be available to physicians and other health care providers at the point of care, regardless of the location where a patient needs care. Patients are very mobile and receive health care from many different providers, sometimes crossing state lines for services. The Mid-States Consortium members are committed to ensuring important clinical data from these provider visits is available in a highly secure, connected system.

"I am pleased that the consortium is meeting its objective of bringing health information organizations together to collaborate and create consensus for interstate data sharing," said Laura McCrary Ed.D, executive director of the Kansas Health Information Network and founding member of the Mid-States Consortium of HIOs. "With more organizations participating in the Mid-States Consortium of HIOs, we have an even greater opportunity to ensure accurate and complete health information is available when patients seek care outside of their home communities or states."

Health information organizations in the Midwest and Rocky Mountain states have developed the technology infrastructure to support secure electronic messaging (DIRECT) and query-based exchange to ensure that providers can share health information for patients they have in common. Many of the organizations are pursuing accreditation with organizations such as DirectTrust and Healtheway. However, differing state laws, patient consent policies, and approaches to sharing protected health information have created barriers to successful exchange across regional and state boundaries. The Mid-States Consortium is a forum for regional and state HIOs to resolve these issues. 

Christine Baker

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