Community-wide electronic health information exchanges (HIEs) are a centerpiece of current federal health care policy. HIEs are likely to play an important role in the development of accountable care organizations, the “meaningful use” of electronic health records under Medicare and Medicaid incentive programs and the implementation of a variety of other government initiatives to improve health care quality and control costs.
Yet HIEs are still struggling to gain traction in many communities. There are several reasons for the uneven progress of HIEs, including the search for a viable business model and questions about appropriate governance structures. But chief among the challenges facing HIEs is the need to resolve thorny privacy issues. Ten of the top privacy issues commonly confronted by HIEs are discussed below.
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