Following a long-running dispute about who would run the state health information exchange, the Oklahoma Health Care Authority found a compromise. The nonprofit MyHealth, which has been operating as an HIE in Oklahoma since 2010, will operate the HIE using a platform from Orion Health.
A recent editorial in the Tulsa World explained the origins of the dispute. It noted that MyHealth was founded in 2009 by representatives of the Tulsa healthcare industry as a public utility to improve outcomes. Another health information exchange had been operating since 2008, but was integrated into MyHealth in 2014. Since then, MyHealth has been managing 80 percent to 85 percent of Oklahoma’s healthcare activity in its system.
“That’s why it was surprising when the Oklahoma Health Care Authority chose the bid by the global technology company Orion Health in 2020 to deliver the statewide health information exchange,” the editorial noted. “MyHealth, which offered a lower bid to administer the exchange, dropped a legal effort contesting the bid process.”
Thirteen entities, including chambers of commerce, hospitals, insurance companies, tribal nations and professional medical organizations expressed concern, the editorial said.
Under the agreement announced this week, MyHealth will operate the HIE using the Orion Health Amadeus data platform as well as services and technical solutions from HealthTech Solutions LLC. This will enable the state of Oklahoma to have a single, consolidated HIE to connect providers in the state and allow health information to flow seamlessly to and from authorized organizations in Oklahoma.
“The currency HIEs run on is trust, and MyHealth has spent years building trust in the healthcare community,” said MyHealth CEO David Kendrick, M.D., M.P.H., in a statement. “Our partnership with both the state and Orion Health means MyHealth members can look forward to the same focus on security, service and speed, now with additional access to enhanced reporting and analytics products and other technical services.”
The MyHealth network currently links more than 4,000 Oklahoma providers and more than 4 million patients within and beyond Oklahoma who now have their complete health record available wherever and whenever they seek care.
In a statement, Orion Health’s Chief HIE Strategy Officer Chad Peterson said MyHealth’s established data-sharing agreements, its large base of existing data connections and users, and the support it has built in the health care community are vital elements to the success of the state’s HIE infrastructure. “We are excited to partner with MyHealth to rapidly expand the use and benefits of HIE services in the state,” said Peterson.
Some of the goals of the partnership between MyHealth, Orion Health, and the Oklahoma Health Care Authority include:
• Reducing health care costs associated with redundant testing, preventable hospital re-admissions, and preventable repeat emergency department visits,
• Improving care coordination during transitions between healthcare settings,
• Improving patients’ experience, and
• Bringing private-sector and state leaders and organizations together to leverage HIE resources in meaningful ways to improve effectiveness and cost efficiency of healthcare in Oklahoma.