Contributed by Lee Kim, Esq.
In a press release today, the Pennsylvania eHealth Collaborative has announced that it has awarded grants to four organizations for regional and statewide health information exchanges. The four recipients were each awarded $1.5 million. These recipients were Highmark HIE, LLC, Lehigh Valley Hospital, Inc., St. Luke’s Hospital, and HealthShare of Southeastern PA. Robert Torres, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Health Information Technology coordinator, was quoted as stating that health information exchange has been shown to improve healthcare quality, safety and efficiency, while reducing costs and making care more convenient for patients. The grants will be used to contribute to the development and use of health information exchange capacity across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, according to Mr. Torres.
Currently, the local and regional health information exchanges already operating in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania only have a limited ability to share information with each other. The health information exchange grant recipients will connect to a platform that will enable interoperability among participating health information exchanges and this is anticipated to reduce costs involved in the secure exchange of health information.