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Dec. 14, 2012
TOPEKA Officials at the Kansas Department of Health and Environment announced today that they plan to distribute $7.1 million to the two networks that provide the infrastructure for the statewide, digital exchange of health information.
The networks — Kansas Health Information Network (KHIN) and Missouri-based Lewis and Clark Information Exchange (LACIE) — are certified to exchange digital patient health records among doctors and hospitals in Kansas.
KDHE will distribute the funds by September 2013 to the networks based on how many providers each signs up to participate in the exchange, with a premium paid for providers in rural areas, according to a plan approved in June by the Kansas Health Information Exchange (KHIE). Federal officials green-lighted the plan last month.
As part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, Kansas received a $9.1 million federal grant administered by KDHE to implement health information exchange in the state.
About $2 million will have been spent through 2013 on the operations of KHIE, the regulatory body charged with ensuring the privacy and security of patient health information on the networks. The rest of the funds must be spent by September.
Originally the money was earmarked to pay directly for the technical infrastructure of the exchange, such as hardware and software needed to connect the Kansas exchange to other state-based and regional exchanges. Much of that infrastructure is being — or will be — built by the networks.
With the deadline to spend the funds looming, KHIE officials determined that much of the money would be forfeited if officials had to wait until that infrastructure was completed.