Massachusetts gets $16.9M in federal funds to launch statewide HIE

Massachusetts became the first state in the nation to secure funding approval through the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to create a health information exchange, Gov. Deval Patrick announced this morning. CMS approved $16.9 million for the HIE, which will be launched in three phases by Orion Health, which has U.S. offices in Boston; Santa Monica, Calif.; and Scottsdale, Ariz.

The money stems both from grant funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and additional funding from Medicaid. The first phase of the project, which will focus on creating a project management team, a governance structure and an operations staff, is expected to go live this year.

In early June, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center CIO John Halamka outlined a preliminary roadmap for the HIE at an event hosted by the Massachusetts Health Data Consortium titled "HIE: The Key to Integration & Accountability Sheraton Norwood Four Points," according to a blog post by Rob Brull, product manager for Frisco, Texas-based health information exchange vendor Corepoint Health. Halamka shared a slide presentation that detailed the project's three phases:

  • Information Highway: Creating the infrastructure to enable secure transmission
  • Analytics and Population Health: Building out the infrastructure to facilitate data aggregation and analysis
  • Search and Retrieve: Continuing to build out the infrastructure, this time enabling cross-institutional queries for and retrieval of patient records

"Connecting payers, providers and patients will improve quality, safety and efficiency of healthcare throughout the Commonwealth," Halamka said in the announcement.

Patrick said he expects the technology to improve the quality of care delivered while simultaneously slowing the growth of costs.

To learn more:
- here's the announcement
- read the Corepoint Health blog post
- here's Halamka's slideshow presentation