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HealthlinkNY Opposes Planned Expansion of Hixny HIE Services

HealthlinkNY has come out against Hixny’s plans to expand its HIE services into several territories already covered by the qualified entity.

HealthlinkNY opposes Hixny's efforts to expand into the Hudson Valley, Catskill, and the Southern Tier of New York.

Source: Thinkstock

By Kate Monica

- HealthlinkNY has stated its disapproval for Hixny’s plans to expand its health information exchange (HIE) services into regions including the Hudson Valley, Catskills, and the Southern Tier of New York State.

These areas are already covered by HealthlinkNY’s HIE network. HealthlinkNY and Hixny are both qualified entities (QEs) part of the Statewide Health Information Network of New York (SHIN-NY).

“The truth is that an unnecessary expansion into this service area compromises the effectiveness of the Health Information Exchange [HIE],” said HealthlinkNY Executive Director Staci Romeo in a recent press release. “Hixny’s claims against HealthlinkNY’s impact and progress are completely unfounded and sound like a case of sour grapes after being passed over during our search for a strategic partner.”

Earlier this week, Hixny announced plans to extend into 9 additional counties over an 18 month period. Hixny stated information sharing “historically lags” in regions including the Hudson Valley and Southern Tier.

So far, medical centers and clinics in Elmsford, Hawthorne, Yorktown, Kingston, Stone Ridge, Saugerties, and Pleasant Valley have already signed participation agreements with Hixny.

“We are pleased to welcome these new providers to Hixny; their decision proves that providers who have a choice will choose better data,” said Hixny CEO Mark McKinney in a Hixny press release. “Hixny is changing the game and this news is only the first of many announcements that demonstrate why Hixny is the best option.”

All 35 hospitals in the Hudson Valley and Catskill regions are HealthlinkNY participants. The QE offers patients and providers electronic access to community-wide patient EHRs and supports collaboration and care coordination between healthcare providers across New York.

HealthlinkNY is also making efforts to expand its HIE services. The QE is currently in talks with New York QE HealtheConnections to form a strategic partnership.

HealthlinkNY is interested in collaborating with HealtheConnections because “they are in alignment with us with respect to mission, best practices, services, capabilities, and culture,” explained Romeo.

“They also will help power a more sophisticated technology platform as well as a complementary program for population health, critical with today’s burgeoning opioid crisis and the need for increased access to mental health services,” she continued. “We want to take this to the next level.

The future partnership is intended to boost the value of HIE services for participants of both QEs.  According to HealthlinkNY officials, the QE is currently developing plans to increase its presence and breadth of services in the Hudson Valley and Catskill regions.

“We are the only QE in the region with data immediately available for healthcare providers,” maintained Romeo.

HealthlinkNY covers 13 counties in the Hudson Valley, Catskills, and the Southern Tier. The QE also administers two population health improvement programs (PHIPs) in the Hudson Valley and Southern Tier. The population of HealthlinkNY’s covered service area is nearly 2.9 million residents.

“HealthlinkNY is booming and is the second largest QE by population in New York State,” Romeo said.

The HIE has been ranked second in data quality among all eight New York State QEs, according to HealthlinkNY officials.

“HealthlinkNY is strong, growing, and has enormous momentum,” concluded Romeo.

HealthlinkNY and Hixny are two of the eight QEs part of SHIN-NY. HEALTHeLink, Rochester RHIO, HealtheConnections, NYCIG, Healthix, and Bronx RHIO are also part of the SHIN-NY network.

SHIN-NY is overseen by the New York State Department of Health and governed by privacy and security policies and standards. The network is intended to facilitate health data exchange between providers, care facilities, hospitals, and health systems statewide.

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