Maine’s HealthinfoNet Forms For-Profit Interoperability Company

Jan. 13, 2020
Cureous Innovations’ first customer is Vermont's statewide HIE organization

Nonprofit HealthInfoNet, a statewide health information exchange for the State of Maine, has formed a for-profit interoperability technology subsidiary and announced that Vermont Information Technology Leaders (VITL) is its first customer.

HealthinfoNet said its for-profit subsidiary company, called Cureous Innovations Inc., features a best-of-breed collaborative model built on HealthInfoNet’s record of reliability and innovation. The company said it “builds interoperable ecosystems that improve patients’ health, wellness, and care experiences.”

“Maine has been our home for more than a decade, and HealthInfoNet will continue to serve the communities in which we live to deliver trusted and reliable health information exchange services,” said Shaun Alfreds, HealthInfoNet CEO and Cureous Innovations president and CEO, in a statement. “But as initiatives across the country evolve and demand proven expertise and dependable partners, Cureous Innovations is a natural next step. The creation of Cureous Innovations is evidence that what we’ve done in Maine has been an immense success – and the very knowledge and experience that we’ve amassed over the years will greatly benefit others across the country.”

Cureous Innovations has entered into partnership with the Vermont Information Technology Leaders (VITL) to implement person-centered health information technology solutions for Vermont’s statewide health information exchange. In its role as VITL’s technology partner, Cureous Innovations will be responsible for hosting and licensing secure and configurable instances of Rhapsody’s messaging engine and Cureous’ proprietary terminology translation service, TermAtlas, as well as a help desk and ticketing service that leverages Atlassian’s service-desk framework.

The Vermont Health Information Exchange, run by VITL, has struggled at times to achieve statewide interoperability.  A 2018 evaluation of the VHIE by the Green Mountain Care Board found governance and data quality issues and low usage rates. For instance, only 19 percent of Vermont patients’ records were then accessible in VHIE, and statistics show providers generally use VHIE for limited purposes. In a survey of 89 Vermont stakeholders, only 19 percent said the VHIE was meeting the needs of their organization. However, when asked if the health IT fund — created through a small tax on insurance claims — should continue to fund the HIE, 58 percent said yes, and only 2 percent said no, with the rest undecided. Ninety-one percent said the VHIE was critical for the state to have.

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