HIE tech market in flux as priorities evolve

Consolidation continues in the market for health information exchange technology as the focus shifts from connecting to share data and attesting to Meaningful Use to gleaning insights from data on which to take action, according to a pair of new IDC Health Insights reports.

IDC MarketScape: U.S. Health Information Exchange Packaged Solutions 2012 Vendor Assessment (Doc #HI235830) focuses on 10 vendors, including: Certify Data Systems, eClinicalWorks, Informatics Company of America (ICA) and PatientKeeper. The report defines packaged solutions as pre-configured, modular solutions that come with training and support services. 

Meanwhile, IDC MarketScape: U.S. Health Information Exchange Platform Solutions 2012 Vendor Assessment (Doc # HI235816) evaluates 16 vendors, including AT&T, Carefx, IBM, Medicity and Verizon.

Platform-as-a-service will become increasingly important, IDC says, with platforms evolving over time to meet customers' needs--often through self-development. Packaged solutions, in contrast, are designed for specific requirements.

IDC found the enterprise market to be the fastest-growing market segment as organizations seek to demonstrate Meaningful Use and pursue a collaborative care strategy. Analytics, collaborative care, and patient-engagement technologies remain at the forefront of vendor development activities. Partnerships, according to IDC, are a key strategy for vendors that cannot provide a full stack of technologies.

"The IT requirements for health information organizations and evolving care delivery and reimbursement models are too extensive for any one vendor to satisfy," Lynne Dunbrack, program director, Connected Health IT Strategies at IDC, said in an announcement.

IDC notes that many regional health information exchanges have an unsustainable model once federal grants run out, requiring stakeholders to determine what information they want from the exchange and what they're willing to pay for.

A HIMSS advisory group recently noted that exchanges will have to change their models from "health information exchange" to "healthcare coordination facilitation" as government policies move toward value-based reimbursement. It's not an easy process, though, with many organizations still feeling their way along.

For example, the Health Information Partnership for Tennessee recently announced it's shutting down; the state instead will use of the federally created Direct Project secure messaging technology.

The Washington, D.C.-based eHealth Initiative recently called for laws on exchanges that support a "more flexible framework" to allow for continuous innovation, including increased interoperability.

To learn more:
- read the announcement

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