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Tennessee's HIE to Shutter Operations

July 10, 2012
by Jennifer Prestigiacomo
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Health Information Partnership for Tennessee (HIP TN), a Nashville, Tenn.-based organization created three years ago by providers, payers, consumers, and other stakeholders to assist Tennessee in creating a statewide health information exchange (HIE), is planning to wind down operations.

The HIP TN Board voted on June 15 to begin wind down activities after meeting with state officials.

"Given the evolution of HIE across the country, HIP TN's board of directors decided the best step was to allow the state to operate from a clean slate," said Dr. Reginald Coopwood, chairman of HIP TN's board, in a statement. "We hope the work conducted thus far has been valuable and will provide insight if others plan to implement state-wide HIE in the future."

HIP TN formed in 2009 to create a statewide health information exchange that would serve as a network of networks for Regional Health Information Organizations (RHIOs) in Tennessee. The state contracted with HIP TN to provide the infrastructure for the exchange. While HIP TN will no longer be responsible for implementing an intrastate HIE in Tennessee, HIE efforts across the state will continue. Specifically, three (RHIOs) within Tennessee are playing a role in health information exchange. The RHIOs are expected to continue securely sharing health information.

"Hundreds of volunteers representing stakeholders from across the healthcare spectrum have contributed countless hours to identifying the healthcare information that needs to be exchanged and developing policies and a framework to exchange that information," Dr. Coopwood continued. "We're grateful for their hard work and dedication to HIE."

There are three RHIOs in Tennessee: MidSouth eHealth Alliance (MSeHA), Middle Tennessee eHealth Connect (MTeHC) and East Tennessee Health Information Network (etHIN).

"The members of the HIP TN Board, and the organizations they represent, believe that secure health information exchange—in the form of electronic health records and other information—will benefit the quality of health care in Tennessee. The board's vision for a health information exchange network in Tennessee remains, and we hope that vision can be realized down the road," said Dr. Coopwood.

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