NCMS Meeting Examines Vision and Financial Plan for the NC Health Information Exchange

In its ongoing work to develop infrastructure for electronic health record delivery for North Carolina physicians, the North Carolina Medical Society (NCMS) and the North Carolina Hospital Association (NCHA) met with leaders of the NC Health Information Exchange (NC HIE) on Monday, January 31, at the NCMS office in Raleigh to discuss concerns and answer questions raised by NCMS and NCHA regarding the vision and financial plan for the NC HIE. The NC HIE is the entity that will govern the electronic exchange of health information in NC and has proposed raising funds from doctors, hospitals, and payors over and above the funds received from the federal government to help establish the NC HIE. 

The NCMS and the NCHA have questioned the need for additional funding before the actual costs of establishing the health information exchange are known (an RFP has not even been drafted yet). A physician assessment was originally proposed but was quickly abandoned after NCMS objected. The NC HIE is now considering voluntary prepayment by physicians, hospitals, and payors in exchange for waiver of certain fees for the first 3-4 years to connect to the NC HIE and discounted rates in the future. During the meeting, it was agreed that the financial plan warranted further vetting by the Finance Workgroup of the NC HIE. The NCMS and the NCHA will continue to be actively engaged in these discussions to ensure an equitable and reasonable approach to the financing of the NC HIE.

Attending the meeting were NC DHHS Secretary Lanier Cansler, who co-chairs the NC HIE board; Steve Cline, DDS, MPH, State Health Information Technology Coordinator, NCMS President John Mangum, MD; and NCMS Past President and NCMS representative on the NC HIE board, Hadley Callaway, MD. Dave Tayloe, MD, past president of the American and NC Pediatric Societies, and Maureen O’Connor, executive vice president and chief strategy officer, BCBSNC, who co-chair the Finance Workgroup of the NC HIE, also attended. Alan Hirsch, interim executive director; Fred Goldwater, interim chief information officer; and Anita Massey, project manager, represented the NC HIE. Bill Bernstein and Lammot DuPont participated on behalf of Manatt Health Solutions, which is the consulting firm assisting with the establishment of the NC HIE. Representing the NC Hospital Association were Bill Pully, president; Hugh Tilson, senior vice president; and Mark Bell, chief information officer. NCMS staff in attendance included: Bob Seligson, executive vice president and CEO; Steve Keene, general counsel; and Melanie Phelps, deputy general counsel.

For additional information about the NC HIE, click here: http://www.ncdhhs.gov/healthit/about.htm.

 
 

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