Posted By Lorana Price On January 10, 2019
North Carolina behavioral health providers are buzzing about the statewide mandate to connect to the health information exchange (HIE) – NC HealthConnex. But, many are unclear as to what exactly it is and what they need to do.
What is NC HealthConnex?
NC HealthConnex is the state-designated health information exchange. It’s designed to link various health systems and existing HIE networks. The goal is to provide a holistic view of the patient’s electronic health record through a secure, standardized system. This connection allows providers to easily access and share important patient health information across a statewide network. The diagram below demonstrates how NC HealthConnex relates to the patient electronic health record.
Credit: NC Health Information Exchange
What is the NC HIEA?
The North Carolina Health Information Exchange Authority (NC HIEA) was created by the North Carolina General Assembly. It’s role is to oversee the NC HealthConnex (NCGS 90-414.7). Additionally, NC HIIA supports national and state healthcare agendas with the intent of reducing consumer healthcare costs. NC HIEA is committed to continuously improving NC HealthConnex and to moving toward more efficient and effective patient care through new technologies and best practices.
Purpose of the NC HIE
The ultimate vision for NC HealthConnex is to enable access to information to support improved healthcare quality and outcomes. In addition to access and information exchange, the system also promotes health information analysis. By making information readily available to providers, the HIE network will :
- improve healthcare quality
- enhance patient safety
- improve health outcomes
- reduce overall healthcare costs
Who Needs to Connect
All healthcare providers who receive state funds, such as Medicaid, are required to connect to NC HealthConnex by June 1, 2019. You may be unable to receive payments for services you provide if your agency isn’t connected in time.
See below for the NC HIEA’s reports on connected organizations and the data they’re providing, as well as connected EHR systems:
While this information relates to NC HealthConnex, other states across the country will also be implementing similar requirements. If your state mandates connectivity to an HIE, Patagonia Health can help.