Providers, payers in HIE 'replacement revolution' to improve interoperability

More providers and payers are shifting to private health information exchanges (HIEs) as they begin to participate in value-based payment models, creating an HIE "replacement revolution," according to a new survey from Black Book Rankings.

Nearly 94 percent of payers involved in the survey said they intend to abandon their involvement with public HIEs and create and/or bolster a private one. Almost four-fifths of providers (79 percent) corroborated that public HIEs and EHR-dependent ones were "disenfranchising" the payers. Ninety percent of hospital respondents also saw private HIEs as potentially more profitable; 63 percent were actively replacing their current system and looking at more advanced HIE, "middleware" and other options.

The survey also found increased user frustration over the lack of HIE standardization and readiness of other providers to share data. Eighty-three percent of physician respondents and 40 percent of hospital respondents were still behind in data sharing and working to catch up. More than half blamed EHR vendors for interoperability defects and data blocking; 20 percent blamed the government for slow progress in development and standards. Almost all respondents reported that vendors refused to open up their EHRs to two-way interoperability and that the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology hasn't done enough to require it.  

However, payers and providers need interoperability more than ever; the global health care analytics market is expected to grow to $18.4 billion by 2020.  

"The only way to accomplish that is robust bidirectional interoperability, and that's what will ultimately force comprehensive interoperability into reality, not government-scripted vendor pledges," Doug Brown, Black Book managing partner, said in the report announcement. "Value based care, payer participation in private HIEs, patient locator systems and analytics will be the real forces that push interoperability ahead next."

To learn more:
- here's the survey results announcement