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7 Medical Societies Use Health Data Exchange to Boost Health Equity

Seven medical societies have formed partnerships to address health disparities through health data exchange across state lines.

Seven medical societies have partnered to leverage health data exchange to boost health equity.

Source: Thinkstock

By Kate Monica

- Medical societies in seven states recently teamed up with KAMMCO Health Solutions to launch a new initiative leveraging health data exchange capabilities and data analytics to reduce health disparities across patient populations.

The Health Equity Network for Change (HENC) will utilize patient health data from the Kansas Health Information Network (KHIN), CTHealthLink, and five other physician-led HIEs to assess and reduce health disparities across the country.

The focus of the HENC initiative is to improve patient health outcomes and health statuses of medically-underserved populations.

“Physicians across the nation are increasingly concerned about health disparities,” said HENC Chairman M. Natalie Achong, MD. “To address this, HENC brings leading physicians together to examine trends in health disparity data.”

“This will allow HENC to make data-driven recommendations for the establishment of population health priorities at regional, state and national levels aimed at improving health outcomes,” she continued.

HENC combines patient health data with KaMMCO analytics tools and support from medical societies to facilitate targeted efforts aimed at reducing health inequity.

“The Kansas Medical Society (KMS) is pleased to collaborate in this new initiative with the state’s physician-led health information exchange, KHIN,” said KMS Executive Director Jon Rosell. “By working together to address universal healthcare issues such as healthcare disparities and population health, we can broaden our impact across the country.”

HENC has called upon leading physicians from KMS, the Connecticut State Medical Society, the Medical Association of Georgia, the Louisiana State Medical Society, and the Missouri State Medical Association to spearhead the initiative.

Physician leaders from the Medical Society of New Jersey and the South Carolina Medical Association will also help to lead the effort.

“Health information exchange data is an enormously valuable, rich set of clinical data aggregated across all exchange participating healthcare providers within a region, state or nation,” said KAMMCO Senior Vice President Laura McCrary. “This data provides key insights into healthcare patterns and utilization previously not available from static, outdated or geographically limited clinical data sets.”

The initiative aligns with KHIN’s mission to improve healthcare quality, care coordination, and clinical efficiency through health data exchange at the point of care. The secure network is a member of the Strategic Health Information Exchange Collaborative (SHIEC).  

“The Connecticut State Medical Society (CSMS) and the state’s physician-led health information exchange, CTHealthLink, are excited to participate in this new initiative,” said CSMS Executive Vice President and CEO Matthew Katz. “By working together to address universal healthcare issues such as healthcare disparities and population health, we can broaden our impact across the country.”

KAMMCO partnered with the Connecticut State Medical Society (CSMS) to launch CTHealthLink in 2017.

The physician-led HIE allows clinicians, hospitals, and other in-network healthcare providers the opportunity to exchange patient health records and utilize data analytics tools to improve patient health outcomes and streamline clinical processes.

CTHealthLink utilizes a proven model for health data exchange developed by KHIN.

Connecticut is currently in the process of launching its own statewide HIE after four failed attempts.

The state recently received $12.2 million in funding through a grant awarded by CMS to assist the state in streamlining health data exchange across care facilities, hospitals, and health systems for better-informed clinical decision-making.

The newest $12.2 million grant follows a $5 million federal investment the state received in 2017 intended to fund HIE planning.

If successful, the new HIE will offer providers a way to measure clinical data for more efficient population health management. The HIE is expected to be fully operational by early 2019.

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