Several years ago, the State of Montana used HITECH Act funding to begin creating a statewide health information exchange called HealthShare Montana, but the effort eventually faltered. Now the state has redoubled its efforts to create the Big Sky Care Connect HIE, which will expand on a pilot effort already underway in Billings.
In the Billings Alliance project, three health systems were approached by Blue Cross Blue Shield and they all had an interest in exchanging information. “They talked about what is best for the community rather than just what is best for their individual institutions,” Branscum said. “They have been working to put together the infrastructure for health information exchange, always with the intent that they would love to see that technology expand statewide.” The Billings group worked with an Oklahoma-based vendor called Verinovum, which powers Oklahoma’s MyHealth HIW. They started with clinical use cases. One was high-utilizers of the health system and how to approach those individuals differently through care coordination.