The Kansas Health Information Network has expanded its relationships and to link with the Health Information Exchange Texas (HIETexas), a “network of networks,” made available by the Texas Health Services Authority (THSA). The connection will allow patients who are treated in both Kansas and Texas have access to their patient information and medical records in a more timely manner.
THSA connects local HIEs within Texas to each other and with networks across the nation through the eHealth Exchange. By connecting with the Kansas network, many of those providers will also be in compliance with Meaningful Use rules required by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
Texas has become a key location for patients in Kansas who are in need of certain medical treatments. Texas has a number of advanced and specialist treatment centers and is within driving distance for patients in Kansas who need care that may not be available locally. Connecting the two states will support a growing corridor of travel for specialist treatment.
The federal government is making a broad push to expand the number of data sharing relationships between healthcare providers nationwide. At the end of September the Department of Health and Human Services Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC), awarded $1.5 million in grant money to support the flow of information. Those grant awards went to a combination of data sharing organizations including The Health Collaborative, another network of networks in the heartland.
The Arkansas Office of Health Information Technology also received a share of that $1.5 million to go toward implementing a bi-directional health information exchange with behavioral health providers in the area.