Navigation Links
Health info exchange: Short-term growth, but long-term concerns
Date:7/9/2013

ANN ARBOR While record numbers of hospitals and doctors participate in electronic health information exchange efforts, which enable medical histories to follow patients as they move between healthcare providers, the long-term success of these programs is in question.

That's according to a new national survey of health information exchange organizations led by a University of Michigan researcher.

Health information exchange efforts come into play primarily when patients switch doctors or are admitted to a hospital. Because they give doctors access to patients' medical histories, they could improve diagnoses and reduce redundant tests, boosting both the quality and efficiency of care. They've been deemed a national priority, and $548 million from the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act was devoted to helping states establish them.

So it might not be surprising that since the research team's last survey in 2010, there's been a doubling in the percentage of U.S. hospitals that take part in an exchange program and a tripling in the percentage of participating doctor's offices. The new study counted 119 operational exchange efforts nationwide a 61 percent increase from 2010. Today, 30 percent of U.S. hospitals and 10 percent of doctors' offices are involved in one.

"What we've seen is this federal money really has made a big difference," said lead study author Julia Adler-Milstein, an assistant professor in the U-M School of Information and School of Public Health. "What hasn't really moved, though, is the perception that the organizations haven't figured out how to fund themselves, which will be a big problem after the government grant money runs out in January 2014."

A full 74 percent of the exchange programs reported that they're struggling to develop a sustainable business model. Over the years, some organizations have closed their doors when grants ended. Adler-Milstein offers one explanation why:

"The health care providers are not willing to pay for the service at the level needed," she said. "They don't see enough value, and that's because much of it doesn't accrue to them. It goes to patients and to health insurance companies. The central challenge is that the incentives and the business model are not aligned yet for this to really work."

Will they ever be aligned, and what are some possible outcomes? Some believe health information exchange is a public good and that the government should make a long-term commitment to funding it. It's been suggested that a small payroll tax could cover the service. Others say the free market should determine the fate of health information exchange organizations. That could mean they're never permanently established, or that they find a way to make money. Adler-Milstein sees strides toward the latter.

"One piece of data that makes me a little bit hopeful is that many of these organizations are trying to figure out the broader role they can play in efforts to improve healthcare delivery," she said. "They're realizing that the data they have is very valuable for research and performance reports."

Beyond any immediate benefits to patients, exchange efforts could help enable large clinical studies across institutions. Such studies could, for example, explore how effective certain treatments or diagnostic tests are in a broad range of situations. Exchange efforts could also aid in the establishment of "accountable care organizations," voluntary groups of doctors and hospitals that agree to coordinate care and reduce duplicated services.

"If these accountable care organizations are going to be successful, they need to know what care patients are receiving," Adler-Milstein said. "If you want to know how things are going from a quality perspective, that requires data. It's a broader effort that's really about aligning incentives for healthcare, but underneath it all is health information exchange."

The study is published online July 9 issue in Health Affairs. It will also appear in the journal's August issue.


'/>"/>

Contact: Nicole Casal Moore
ncmoore@umich.edu
734-647-7087
University of Michigan
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Ethical quandary about vaccinations sparked by tension between parental rights and protecting public health
2. UIC to serve as Chicago site for largest-ever US study of Hispanic/Latino health
3. Zane Benefits Publishes New Information on the Kansas Health Insurance Exchange
4. Gene Therapy Partnering Deals & Agreements By Healthcare Companies Analyzed in New Research Report at ReportsnReports.com
5. LSDF announces grants to commercialize health-related products and services
6. LSDF makes grants to commercialize health-related products
7. Pregnancy as window to future health
8. CWRU researchers trace inner-city womens health issues to childhood traumas
9. Elsevier announces the publication of Health Care: The Journal of Delivery Science and Innovation
10. People prefer carrots to sticks when it comes to healthcare incentives
11. How does pedestrian head-loading affect the health of women and children in sub-Saharan Africa?
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... The ... OSHA Training Institute Education Center headquartered in Northern California, has issued an important ... heat at their worksites. Employers with workers exposed to high temperatures should ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... "FCPX editors can now reveal their media with ... X," said Christina Austin - CEO of Pixel Film Studios. , ProSlice Color ... users can now reveal the media of their split screens with growing colorful ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... , ... June 27, 2016 , ... ... mental health professionals, announced today its affiliation with Tennessee Counseling Association. ... to the network of the Tennessee Counseling Association, adding exclusive benefits and promotional ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... ... announced its strategic partnership with Connance, a healthcare industry leader providing predictive ... proven, proprietary technology combine to provide health systems, hospitals and ambulatory surgical ...
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... A ... revolutionize the emergency ambulance transport experience for the millions of people who require ... has disrupted the taxi industry through the use of technology. Now, SmartEMS has ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/26/2016)... Australia,s successful biotechnology scientists, Dr Graham ... Noxopharm Limited [ABN 50 608 966 123] ("Noxopharm"). Noxopharm is seeking ... ASX. Noxopharm is a clinic-ready company with its first ... study later this year. NOX66 ... cancer patients - the ability of cancers to become resistant to ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... , June 27, 2016 Jazz Pharmaceuticals ... waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of ... acquisition of Celator Pharmaceuticals, Inc. ("Celator"; Nasdaq: ... p.m. (Eastern Daylight Time). As previously announced ... into a definitive merger agreement under which Jazz Pharmaceuticals ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... , June 27, 2016  VMS Rehab Systems, Inc. ... will take whatever measures required to build a strong ... which is currently listed on the OTC Markets-pink current ... Chairman and CEO, "We are seeing an anomaly in ... understand, not only by the Company, but shareholders and ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: