Access and Feeds

Health Care: Triple Digit Growth in HIE Spending Predicted for Next Two Years

By Dick Weisinger

While much of the discussion and debate around health care modernization and reform has focused on Electronic Health Records, a very related and important topic is that of Health Information Exchanges (HIE).  HIE transmit and exchange health care data among facilities, providers, hospitals, and health information organizations.  The HIE initiative in the US tries to create a national standard  for transmission, interoperability, security and confidentiality.

Components of the HIE initiative in the US include Health Information Technology (HIT) infrastructure and the National Health Information Network (NHIN).  A national HIE program will need to address many challenges which include scalability, reliability, trustworthiness, financially sustainable, and secure.

Doug Brown,  Senior Partner at Black Book, said that “the current driving forces of HIE adoption are clearly apparent: accountable care implementation, meaningful use implementations, the need for care coordination, outcome based reimbursement challenges, available funding, and opportunities for regional stakeholder participation.”
A survey from Black Book on HIEs found that 80 percent of US hospitals and 97 percent of physician providers today are unconnected to any kind of HIE technology.  But the report expects that to change dramatically over the next few years, predicting triple digit growth.
Other results of the report are as follows:
  • 28 percent of providers report cautious HIE spending increases through the end of 2012 with significantly aggressive spending in 2013 and 2014
  • 85 percent of hospitals said that changing reimbursement models and accountable care regulations is forcing them to increase HIE spending
  • 83 percent of hospitals and 17 percent of providers already participate in an HIE program
  • 95 percent of providers expect to belong to at least one HIE by July 2013
  • 98 percent of providers say that it makes more sense for them to concentrate of community and regional exchanges, rather than national health record exchanges
  • 41 percent of healthcare technology executives say that HIE interoperability isa top 2012 priority for them
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