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April 11, 2012
TOPEKA The board responsible for overseeing health information exchange in Kansas today approved temporary licenses for the two networks expected to operate in the state.
The Kansas Health Information Exchange Inc. gave one-year operating licenses to the Kansas-based network KHIN and the Missouri-based network LACIE, allowing the transfer of digital health records among care providers.
Providers who exchange patient information via a KHIE-approved network would be granted some immunity from lawsuits should they inadvertently breach patient privacy.
In the coming months, KHIE officials said they expect to grant five-year licenses to both networks. KHIN and LACIE are the only two networks to apply for KHIE approval as health information organizations, or HIOs.
Before they agreed to grant the temporary licenses, KHIE board members as well as representatives of the networks debated the language of the licensing certificates for more than an hour.
Among the issues raised was that the proposed temporary license more closely resembled a contract, not a certification.
"When I get my medical school diploma, when I get my license," said board member and physician Jennifer Brull, "I hang it on my wall and it says you are board certified through the year 2014. Done. It doesn't say you're board certified if you sign the back of this certificate."
Further, said board chair Joe Davison, the license contained new policy discussed for the first time today.
"It has not been vetted by the policy committee or this board," said Davison, who is also a physician. "I do not feel good about placing that in this temporary certificate of authority."
KHIN Chief Executive Laura McCrary took issue with a provision that would have required her network to provide electronic patient information to "any other approved HIO at no cost."
McCrary said that sharing data for patient care was the basis of a memorandum of understanding being developed between KHIN and LACIE and that KHIN planned to charge other approved organizations for access to the information.
"But if there's other organizations that want that information for other things that aren't related to patient care, that's part of our sustainability model. If those organizations — be they insurance companies or someone else — are able to get all that data at no cost because they joined another HIO, I just don't think frankly that's fair," McCrary said.
Ultimately the board settled on limited language for the temporary licenses, which representatives of KHIN and LACIE found acceptable. The licenses would take effect July 1 provided the two networks finalize their memo of understanding.
The temporary licenses set the stage for digital health information exchange to begin in the state as early as July 1.
→ Kansas breaks ground on statewide digital health network (5/28/12)
→ The pros and cons of health information exchange: An interview with Dr. Joe Davison (5/28/12)
→ Network execs squabble over issue of exchange connectivity (5/23/13)
→ KU Hospital, Shawnee Mission going live on statewide health record exchange (5/9/13)
→ Governor signs HIE bill transferring regulatory authority from KHIE to KDHE (4/18/13)
→ National experts weigh in on electronic health records (3/19/13)
→ Senate panel hears bill to move HIE regulatory authority to KDHE (3/13/13)
→ Bill introduced to transfer regulatory authority from KHIE to KDHE (2/12/13)
→ Legislators request 'lengthy discussion' on HIE developments (1/16/13)
→ KHIE board members get cold feet on legal changes (12/13/12)
→ KHIE defers details of transition to KDHE (10/10/12)
→ KHIE board turns over regulatory duties to state (9/12/12)
→ HIE board delays decision on turning authority, costs over to state (8/8/12)
→ Regulators of health information exchange to consider ceding authority to state (8/6/12)
→ The cost of independent regulation of health information exchange (8/6/12)
→ KHIE board presented with proposal to dissolve the organization by August (7/11/12)
→ Far fewer than projected patients opting out of health information exchange (6/14/12)
→ Public awareness campaign begins for health information network (5/23/12)
→ Networks granted temporary licenses to exchange patient data (4/11/12)
→ KHIE committee changes course on funding scheme (3/26/12)
→ Rural Kansas doc featured as national technology leader (8/17/11)
→ State Medicaid officials announce new schedule for digital health records exchange (7/25/11)
→ Kansas health care providers get first look at exchange implementation (2/4/11)
→ Full coverage of health information technology in Kansas
The KHI News Service is an editorially independent initiative of the Kansas Health Institute and is committed to timely, objective and in-depth coverage of health issues and the policy making environment. Find more about the News Service at khi.org/newsservice or contact us at (785) 783-2529.