September 7, 2018

CT to launch health data exchange next year

PHOTO | Pablo Robles
PHOTO | Pablo Robles
Hartford Hospital's Dr. Andrew Salner.

After several failed attempts, Connecticut will establish its first statewide network for sharing patients' health data between hospitals and doctors with help from a $12.2 million federal grant, the governor said.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy on Thursday announced the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) will award the funding to the Connecticut Office of Health Strategy (OHS) for the development of a health information exchange (HIE) platform meant to improve reporting efficiencies and curb rising healthcare costs.

The HIE launch comes after the state in 2014 ended a multimillion-dollar project that began in 2010 to build the data-sharing network in an effort to evolve Connecticut's healthcare landscape.

Under the new system, healthcare providers can share and analyze health trends across all technology platforms for comprehensive examination, which is crucial to organizations that receive funding based on health outcomes, officials have said.

The platform also measures quality of care and analyzes population health to improve accessibility and bridge racial, ethnic and gender health inequities. Officials said the new data-sharing system also provides a current sample of information compared to its existing processes of analysts relying on insurance claims data.

OHS Health Information Technology Officer Allan Hackney said the agency engaged about 300 healthcare providers and consumers and 75 organizations in the state to learn how streamlined data reporting can improve health outcomes and lower costs for patients.

Connecticut received a $5 million federal grant last year to support HIE planning. To solicit additional funds, the state was required to detail its efforts on how it planned to improve health outcomes through clinical data, enhance disease management, serve more than 800,000 residents on Medicaid and combat the opioid epidemic.

Earlier this year, the state Bond Commission approved $15 million for the HIE effort.

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