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Poll: Healthcare Execs See Cost Concerns Around HIEs

January 20, 2012
by Gabriel Perna
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A recent poll of healthcare executives from Beacon Partners, a Weymouth, Mass.-based healthcare management consulting firm, highlights the benefits and limitations of health information exchanges (HIEs). According the poll of 200 healthcare C-suite executives, 70 percent say they are currently planning for an HIE, despite their beliefs that it costs a lot of money to start-up, as well as comes with governance issues.

The majority of respondents (58 respondents) came from community hospitals, which have had the most reservations about the HIE cost issues. On the issue of cost, 41 percent of respondents consider high start-up costs and insufficient capital as their top concern. Thirty eight percent of respondents have annual budgets for HIE development of less than $1 million, while 21 percent have no budget.

 “We’ve seen and heard first hand that healthcare executives know the importance and benefits of an HIE, but this study confirms their concerns over the lack of a budget — mostly due to high start-up costs and insufficient capital,” Kevin Burchill, director at Beacon Partners, said in a statement.

Other issues involved governance. According to the poll, 64 percent of respondents named the CIO as the person responsible for HIE development, while governance considerations for HIEs and potential connecting “partners” are the responsibility of others in the C-suite leadership group. Meanwhile, half of respondents have not yet created a department, oversight group or executive role to handle the HIE initiative.

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