Two statewide health information exchanges (HIEs), from Missouri and Illinois, have signed a data-sharing agreement, allowing patient information to cross state lines.
Missouri Health Connection (MHC), which is implementing the state-wide health information exchange (HIE), and Illinois Health Information Exchange (ILHIE), which oversees that state’s HIE, announced the deal this week. The MHC’s network, which includes more than 7,000 physicians, serving patients in 62 hospitals and more than 350 clinics, is already connected to HIEs in Kansas and Nebraska.
This latest deal will connect it with ILHIE and its more than 2,000 providers at more than 450 healthcare organizations. The two sides are working together to ensure they can exchange information with each other through one secure network.
“Healthcare does not neatly follow state borders, so information about patients needs to follow them wherever they go,” Raul Recarey, executive director of ILHIE, said in a statement. “Many Illinois patients from the southern portion of our state are referred to Missouri hospitals. The ILHIE/MHC agreement will allow providers from either state to have access to critically important patient data, regardless of whether that data resides in Missouri or Illinois.”
It is not clear if the data sharing agreement is effective immediately.