Skip to content Skip to navigation

eHealth Exchange Expects to Double Size in Next Year

October 17, 2012
by David Raths
| Reprints

As the NwHIN Exchange transitions from a federal program to a public/private partnership, its pace of growth is accelerating. The new organization, rebranded the eHealth Exchange, has 34 organizations in production now, with six more expected to join by the end of the year, said Mariann Yeager, interim executive director of Healtheway, the organization that is providing the infrastructure and governance to support the exchange of data that eHealth Exchange participants use to further their respective missions. “We had 10 applications last week alone,” Yeager told the Oct. 17 HIT Standards Committee meeting. “We expect to double participation in the next year.”

The NwHIN Exchange went into production in 2009 as a community of exchange partners who share information under a common trust agreement, using a shared set of technical requirements, policies and testing process.

Yeager described Healtheway as a non-profit organization chartered to support the eHealth Exchange and focused on cross-industry collaboration to advance health information exchange implementation.

What started as a pilot effort primarily to share information with federal agencies has seen a dramatic shift, she said. “We are seeing organizations interested in using it as a way to support private- to-private-sector exchange.”

Among the returns on investment already realized through the Exchange efforts are efficiencies realized through multi-party trust agreements and shared infrastructure and governance costs. The Exchange also promises to lessen the burden of testing prior to exchanging with a new partner. Yeager also noted that services that were provided free before by ONC would now have service fees associated with them to ensure the organization’s sustainability.

She said one of Healtheway’s objectives is to remain aligned with the developing national strategy developed by ONC. “The last thing we want to do is to verge away and fragment,” she said. “We seek to unify and assure continuity.”

Healtheway also is partnering with the EHR/HIE Interoperability Work Group (IWG) to establish a harmonized set of implementation specifications and testing requirements. “The synergies are clear,” Yeager said. “It became more evident over time how intertwined the work of the two groups is.”

IWG has already been working with 15 states and 37 EHR and HIE vendors. Together, Healtheway and IWG chose CCHIT as their compliance testing body. CCHIT is partnering with to provide an open source, automated testing environment that will be available to applicants to practice and prepare for observed testingand contains multiple reference systems for testing conformance andinteroperability.



ONC National Coordinator Gets Live Look at Carequality Data Exchange

Officials from Carequality have stated that there are now more than 150,000 clinicians across 11,000 clinics and 500 hospitals live on its network. These participants are also able to share health data records with one another, regardless of technology vendor.

American Red Cross, Teladoc to Provide Telehealth Services to Disaster Victims

The American Red Cross announced a partnership with Teladoc to deliver remote medical care to communities in the United States that are significantly affected by disasters.

Report: The Business of Cybercrime in Healthcare is Growing

While stolen financial data still has a higher market value than stolen medical records, as financial data can be monetized faster, there are indications that there is ongoing development of a market for stolen medical data, according to an Intel Security McAfee Labs report.

Phishing Attack at Baystate Health Potentially Exposes Data of 13K Patients

A phishing scam at Baystate Health in Springfield, Mass. has potentially exposed the personal data of 13,000 patients, according to a privacy statement from the patient care organization and a report from MassLive.

New Use Cases Driving Growth in Health Data Exchange through Direct

In an update, DirectTrust reported significant growth in Direct exchange of health information and the number of trusted Direct addressed enabled to share personal health information (PHI) in the third quarter of 2016.

Insurers to CBO: Consider Private Insurers’ Data in Evaluations of Telemedicine

Eleven private insurers, including Aetna, Humana and Anthem, are urging the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) to consider the experience of commercial insurers when evaluating the impact of telemedicine coverage in Medicare.