Health information exchange systems have been in development nationwide since a federal law was passed in 2009 to promote the electronic movement and use of health information among health care providers.
In 2015, the General Assembly of North Carolina established the state-managed Health Information Exchange Authority to oversee and administer the N.C. Health Information Exchange Network (NCGS 90-414.7). NC HIEA is housed within the N.C. Department of Information Technology’s Government Data Analytics Center.
NC HIEA operates North Carolina’s state-designated health information exchange, NC HealthConnex, a secure, standardized electronic system in which providers can share important patient health information. Use of this system promotes the access, exchange and analysis of health information. The law also requires that health care providers who receive state funds (e.g., Medicaid, State Health Plan) to connect to NC HealthConnex by certain dates in 2018, 2020 and 2021 to continue to receive payments for services provided (NCGS 90-414.4).
North Carolina’s new, modernized health information exchange, NC HealthConnex, brings added value to health care conversations happening at all levels in the health care industry. It breaks down information silos between health care providers, achieves greater health care outcomes for patients and creates efficiencies in state-funded health care programs such as Medicaid. Many other states have been operating health information exchanges for years and are seeing success in improving patient care.