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Regional Health Information Exchanges Expand for Interoperability

Equality Health connected with three regional health information exchanges in Texas to promote statewide care coordination and interoperability.

Equality Health has partnered with three of the five regional health information exchanges (HIEs) in Texas to advance interoperability and care coordination. 

The partnerships with Greater Houston Healthconnect, PHIX in El Paso, and Rio Grande Valley HIE will allow Equality Health network providers who utilize the company’s value-based care (VBC) technology to access longitudinal health records for the tens of thousands of patients they serve.

Providers will be able to better manage patient populations through improved patient data exchange for care coordination and clinical collaboration, representatives said.  

“Our mission is to end health disparities by helping providers access actionable data in real time so they can optimize care delivery for their patients,” Craig Gaites, president of Equality Health’s Texas market, said in a public statement.

“Our partnerships with Greater Houston Healthconnect, PHIX, and Rio Grande Valley HIE allows providers to leverage our VBC technology to improve outcomes for patients in those respective regions of Texas,” Gaites continued.

The consequences of fragmented care can be serious; without access to up-to-date patient health data, providers do not have the information needed to make informed clinical decisions, which may lead to poor patient outcomes and increased healthcare costs.

Equality Health’s connection to each of these HIEs will advance interoperability across the state, bolstering provider access to real-time data needed for high quality care, representatives noted.

“We are excited about our new partnership with Equality Health because it empowers providers in southeast Texas to access and exchange secure health data when they need it,” said Nick Bonvino, chief executive officer of Greater Houston Healthconnect.

“For clinical teams to effectively care for patients, it is imperative that they have all the information they need to make informed decisions,” Bonvino said. “By partnering with Equality Health, Greater Houston Healthconnect is closing gaps in care by enabling clinical insights in real time.”

While Equality Health’s partnership connects HIEs within the populous state of Texas, some less-populous states have joined HIE consortiums that promote patient data exchange across state lines.

Earlier this year, six major health information exchanges (HIEs) partnered to form the Consortium for State and Regional Interoperability (CSRI), to enhance individual and population health through patient data exchange and interoperability.

The six state and regional HIEs consist of Chesapeake Regional Information System for our Patients (CRISP), covering Maryland, District of Columbia, and West Virginia; Colorado Regional Health Information Organization (CORHIO); CyncHealth, spanning through Nebraska and Iowa; Health Current of Arizona; Indiana Health Information Exchange (IHIE); and Manifest MedEx of California.

“CSRI is well-positioned to leverage economies of scale on projects that have the potential to move the interoperability needle in a big way,” Morgan Honea, CEO of CORHIO, said in a press release at the time of the announcement. “I am incredibly excited to be a part of this innovative group and look forward to developing and delivering HIT that can help solve significant data problems.”

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