Skip to content Skip to navigation

HIE Saved $1M in Emergency Care Costs for Medicare, Research Says

October 14, 2013
by Rajiv Leventhal
| Reprints

New research shows that having access to data from a health information exchange (HIE) improved the quality of emergency care and saved more than $1 million in patient charges, or nearly $2,000 per patient, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Emergency Physicians.

Over a 12-month period, starting February 2012, there were 325,740 patient encounters and 7,525 log-ons to the HIE by 231 eligible clinicians at 11 emergency departments in South Carolina. The research team based its conclusions on a sample of 532 patients from this population who had information available in the HIE and for whom the clinicians caring for the patients completed a survey.

"Nearly 90 percent of participants [89 percent] said that quality of patient care was improved, and 82 percent of participants said that valuable time was saved, reporting a mean time savings of 105 minutes per patient," according to study author Christine Carr, M.D. of the Medical University of South Carolina.

Within this sample they found that having access to an HIE for emergency patients resulted in savings from avoiding the following types of services:

  • Laboratory/microbiology: (187 patients) $2,073
  • Radiology: (298 patients) $476,840
  • Consultations: (61 patients) $6,461
  • Hospital admissions: (56 patients) $551,282.

The total of savings for patients in the sample was $1,035,654, based on Medicare-allowable charges, or $1,947 per patient.

"Our research suggests that a Health Information Exchange can improve quality and save money in an emergency care setting," said study author. Steven Saef, M.D. also of the Medical University of South Carolina. "As emergency physicians, we are dedicated to improving care for our patients and also to reducing healthcare costs. This study shows we can do both. Furthermore, when one considers that we are only scratching the surface of what this new resource can do, the implications are staggering."



McKesson Unveils New Paragon Electronic Health Record Platform

McKesson Enterprise Information Solutions (EIS) announced the latest release of Paragon, its electronic health record (EHR) solution.

Catholic Health Initiatives and Dignity Health are in Merger Talks

Englewood, Colorado-based health system Catholic Health Initiatives is in merger talks with San Francisco-based Dignity Health to potentially create one of the largest nonprofit health systems by revenue in the country.

OSU Wexner Medical Center Receives AHIMA Grace Award

The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center (OSUWMC) received the American Health Information Management Association (AHIMA) annual Grace Award in recognition of its leadership in health information management.

Kansas Health Information Network Expands its Network across State Lines

The Kansas Health Information Network (KHIN) has announced that it is expanding its horizons, and is now connected to Health Information Exchange Texas (HIETexas).

CMS Selects Vendor to Modernize Critical Identity Infrastructure

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) last week announced it had selected San Francisco-based vendor Okta to enhance the security of its information systems.

Mayo Clinic, ASU Partner for Medical Education, Healthcare Innovation

The Mayo Clinic and Arizona State University have announced a partnership centered on transforming medical education and healthcare in the U.S. through a variety of innovation efforts.