Health Information Exchange edges closer to a sustainable business model (podcast)

The financial viability of Health Information Exchanges (HIEs) and their antecedents (RHIOs, CHINs, etc.) has always been shaky. Grant funding often carries these organizations through their early years and then dries up without anything robust to replace it. Attempts to demonstrate return on investment are often unpersuasive, and governance issues, rivalries among participants and perverse incentives can spell doom.

But I believe that this time around things really may be different. As an example of why I feel this way, I can point to a new journal article on a Humana pilot with the Wisconsin Health Information Exchange (WHIE) that tells an encouraging story of cost savings and makes a the case for ongoing financial support of HIEs by health plans. The Business Case for Payer Support of a Community-Based Health Information Exchange in American Health & Drug Benefits cites “an average cost savings of $29 per emergency department visit compared with the control group.”

In this podcast interview, lead author Albert Tzeel MD MHSA discusses the findings of the study and explains why he believes the results are generalizable beyond the study population.

September 8, 2011

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