Health Information Exchange
Health Information Exchange (HIE) is the successful transmission of accurate, up-to-date, and meaningful clinical data among healthcare providers and supporting State and State-affiliated agencies throughout the Vermont health care landscape. This program’s primary objective is to provide access to quality, standardized clinical data for the entire State of Vermont and its healthcare organizations to enhance care coordination, healthcare data analytics, and population health management. Vermont will accomplish this goal by leveraging current and best practice business and technical resources to provide a technical framework to efficiently deliver HIE services to the Vermont population. Through improving access to clinical data and data sets, HIE will lower healthcare costs and provide better health-related outcomes.
While there is a seven-year history of significant HIE and Health Information Technology (HIT) investment and development, there is still much to be done to achieve the promise of these reform goals and to reaching a fully interoperable clinical healthcare information exchange. In order to achieve the health care reform goals set forth by the Triple Aim, the HIE Program has identified five key goals for all programmatic initiatives:
- Governance and coordination of HIT efforts
- Improve clinical data quality
- Increase the connectivity and interoperability of health care organizations in Vermont
- Support appropriate accessibility of clinical data for care coordination and population health management
- Continue to improve and enforce best-in-class data security and privacy standards
Clinical data exchange is required to meet several important federal programmatic requirements under both the HITECH Act (passed in 2009 as part of the ARRA legislation) and the Affordable Care Act (2010). It is an important component of the State of Vermont’s HIT investments and funding agreements with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and with the Office of the National Coordinator for HIT (ONC).
Federal and State funding for HIE and clinical data systems has grown from $1.4 million in 2009 to a current projection of $12 million for 2015. As this trend continues it is imperative to articulate what the budget and spending is projected to be to support further development, implementation, and operational costs for the next 5 years. The Health Information Exchange Program will pursue funding from various sources including the Vermont HIT Fund, CMS, ONC, and the State Innovation Model (SIM). Vermont’s awarded SIM grant (also known as the Vermont Health Care Innovation Project or VHCIP), which totals $45 million over 3 years, includes approximately $12 million in technology and HIT infrastructure with significant HIE and clinical data quality components.
Vermont is at the forefront of health care innovation and has a foundation that has been laid through the work of the AHS Health Services Enterprise (HSE). When complete the shared platform with common services will be the basis for a truly integrated HSE for the state. This platform will continue to grow and be refined through the Vermont Health Connect (VHC), Integrated Eligibility (IE) and the Medicaid Management Information System (MMIS) projects. It is a critical time in Vermont’s Health Information Technology (HIT) landscape. Continued attention must be paid to our HIE work in order to ensure the appropriate amount of high-quality clinical data is ready and available, in a secure format, when needed by the fully integrated HSE systems within our State, by the provider communities, and other care facilities across Vermont.