HIE adoption adapting in light of regulatory changes

According to a new study published by Chilmark Research indicates that adoption of health information exchanges (HIEs) will continue despite changes in regulatory compliance and reimbursement models, reports Healthcare IT News.

Researchers at Chilmark profiled 22 HIE vendors as part of its “2012 HIE Market Report: Analysis and Trends” paper. Results of the study indicate that payment reform has necessitated changes to the way that small- to mid-size healthcare providers implement HIEs.

In addition to shifting reimbursement models, healthcare providers are becoming less constrained by regulatory requirements necessary for demonstrating meaningful use of medical informatics technology. Stage two meaningful use attestation criteria place significantly more emphasis on the kind of data exchange facilitated by HIEs than in stage one, and changes to reimbursements mean community-wide care is becoming a priority for many providers.

“As federal incentives drive the adoption of electronic health record (EHR) technology in the U.S., we will quickly move into the post-EHR era where the value of patient data is not what is locked in an EHR data silo, but the cumulative patient data that resides in the community HIE network,” said John Moore, founder and managing partner of Chilmark Research, as quoted by the news source.

Despite the growing need for larger healthcare organizations to implement an HIE, a recent study indicates that the substantial financial investment necessary to launch an HIE is still a barrier for many providers.

Information Week cited a study published by Beacon Partners that suggests 41 percent of C-Suite executives in healthcare reported high start-up costs and infrastructure development as their main concerns for launching an HIE initiative.

According to the paper, approximately one in five executives polled stated they had no dedicated healthcare IT budget allocated to the implementation of an HIE.

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