Colorado HIEs Explore Merging Operations

Aug. 31, 2023
Deal between Contexture, Quality Health Network would result in the integration of staff, technology, and operations

Contexture, the nonprofit organization that was formed in 2021 by the merger of health information exchanges in Arizona and Colorado, is now exploring a merger with Quality Health Network (QHN), whose HIE helps medical and behavioral health providers in rural western Colorado.

Increasingly, regional HIEs are coming together to consolidate services in their state to gain economies of scale. In a recent example, the Health Collaborative (THC), based in Cincinnati, announced it will transition its HIE customers to Columbus-based CliniSync by the end of 2023. Similar mergers happened in Indiana and Michigan.

Contexture and QHN have entered into a Letter of Intent to explore an affiliation to unify health information exchange in Colorado. This affiliation would result in the integration of staff, technology, and operations. 

Contexture and QHN enable health information exchange in different regions of Colorado, in addition to Contexture’s health information exchange in Arizona. Both organizations have partnered well in the past in areas such as data sharing between networks, program partnerships, and solutions; the affiliation would continue to build upon these efforts, covering all of Colorado.  

“Both Contexture and QHN have similar services that carry strong reputations built on delivering innovative and effective solutions,” said Melissa Kotrys, CEO of Contexture, in a statement. “As we formed Contexture, we knew it was important to partner with other regional health information exchanges to better serve our stakeholders and grow our offerings. Exploring affiliation with QHN is a great step forward.” 

“Our organizations recognize that people cross HIE boundaries for care, so improving our networks to ensure providers and care teams have the data they need when they need it continues to drive our efforts,” said Marc Lassaux, QHN Executive Director and CEO, in a statement. “QHN has successfully served rural providers and communities in western Colorado, and Contexture’s experience includes serving many different types of communities in Arizona and Colorado.  We are excited to explore how this affiliation will deepen our collective commitment to serving all providers and the people they care for across Colorado, Arizona, and beyond, especially rural and independent providers.” 

QHN describes itself as a “Whole Health Information Exchange (WHIE)” that helps medical, behavioral, and social health providers in western Colorado securely share patient and client data that enhances care coordination, reduces duplication of services, and identifies individuals at risk so that efforts can be focused where they are needed most. QHN also powers Community Resource Network (CRN), a team-based service coordination platform that connects to QHN’s WHIE to boost community-wide health and make the integration of social determinants of health (SDoH) data possible.

The organizations said that affiliation would put both organizations in a better position to compete for national opportunities and to meet federal policy changes. This includes leveraging and expanding work by Contexture and QHN, especially as it relates to their social determinants of health (SDOH) efforts, and will allow for new solutions, including analytics and reporting functions from micro-levels to statewide and multi-state coverage. 

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