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Is the SHIN-NY “Public Utility” HIE Funding a Model for Other HIE?

Posted on April 25, 2014 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

I first started working with the New York eHealth Collaborative (NYeC) many years ago when they first organized the Digital Health Conference many years ago. Hopefully they’ll have me back again this year since I’ve really enjoyed our ongoing partnership. Plus, it’s a great way for me to get a deeper look into the New York Health IT landscape.

While NYeC organizes this conference, has an accelerator, and is (is this a was yet?) even a REC, the core of everything they do is around their HIE called the SHIN-NY. Unlike some states who don’t have any HIE or RHIO, New York has 10 regional health information exchanges (formerly and for some people still called RHIOs). The SHIN-NY is the platform which connects all of the state’s RHIOs into one connected health network. Plus, I know they’re working on some other more general initiatives that share and get data from organizations outside of New York as well.

While the SHIN-NY has been worked on and sending data for a number of years, the news just came out that Governor Cuomo included $55 million in state funding for the SHIN-NY HIE. This is a unique funding model and it makes me wonder how many other states will follow their lead. Plus, you have to juxtapose this funding with my own state of Nevada’s decision to stop funding the state HIE that was supported with a lot of federal government funds as well.

In my HIE experience, I’ve found that every state is unique in how they fund and grow their HIE. Much of it often has to do with the cultural norms of the state. For example, New York is use to high state taxes that support a number of government programs. Nevada on the other hand is use to no state tax and government funding largely coming from the hospital and gaming sectors. Plus, this doesn’t even take into account the local healthcare bureaucracies and idiosyncrasies that exist.

What do you think of this type of HIE funding model? Do you wish your state would do something similar? Will we see other states follow New York’s example?

I’m excited to see how NY, NYeC and the SHIN-NY do with this HIE funding. Knowing many of the leaders in that organization, I think they’re going to be a great success and have a real impact for good on healthcare in NY.

Is Lack of EHR the Real HIE Problem?

Posted on July 18, 2012 I Written By

John Lynn is the Founder of the HealthcareScene.com blog network which currently consists of 10 blogs containing over 8000 articles with John having written over 4000 of the articles himself. These EMR and Healthcare IT related articles have been viewed over 16 million times. John also manages Healthcare IT Central and Healthcare IT Today, the leading career Health IT job board and blog. John is co-founder of InfluentialNetworks.com and Physia.com. John is highly involved in social media, and in addition to his blogs can also be found on Twitter: @techguy and @ehrandhit and LinkedIn.

HIE (Health Information Exchange) is a really interesting thing. It’s something we all know we want to have happen and so far millions and millions of dollars later no one has been able to crack the code on how to make an HIE a reality.

The benefits of having an HIE are real and apparent. I’ve never heard anyone argue about whether an HIE would bring benefits to healthcare. It’s simple to see that having all of your health information available to a doctor at the point of care is valuable and useful. We don’t need a study to show that. We know it’s the case. Having the information could be the difference between life or death.

We all know that if a doctor can get the lab or radiology information from the HIE, then they don’t have to order another duplicate lab or x-ray. They might still order another one (for a bunch of perverse and maybe some legitimate reasons), but in many cases they wouldn’t have to order one since they’d already have the info they need.

Why then isn’t HIE a reality today?

For the longest time I’ve argued that there are two main barriers to HIE: governance and funding. By governance I mean, “How are we going to make sure that the right people get the right information and that the wrong people don’t get the information they shouldn’t have?” Funding is really about finding a sustainable revenue model for an HIE.

While I still think that both of these issues are real challenges for HIE, I recently started to wonder if the real challenge for an HIE is that not enough doctors and hospitals are using EHR. We want HIE’s to be successful, but can an HIE be really successful for doctors and hospitals that don’t have an EHR?

The lack of EHR adoption might be the biggest impediment to HIE.