Florida HIE will use subscriber fee

March 6, 2013 in Medical Technology

The Florida Health Information Exchange has put in place a plan for how it will pay for its operations once federal grants to fund state HIEs expire in September. Its strategies include cost management, technology, governance and ongoing stakeholder engagement, and keeping an eye out for new revenue opportunities.

Florida providers will pay a flat rate subscriber fee but not individual transaction fees, according to Heidi Fox, administrator, Florida Agency for Health Care Administrations Office of Health Policy and Research at Tuesday’s session, “How a State HIE Wrote a Prescription for Sustainability.”

Fox is also the project director for the implementation of the State HIE Cooperative Agreement.

Annual HIE costs are $2.32 million, with the largest portion of that, or 40 percent, slated for staff, and the next largest component, 28 percent, dedicated to hardware and hosting services, ,according to Janet Hofmeister, senior program manager, Harris Healthcare Solutions.

HIE participants include 12 health systems, two regional HIEs, two federally qualified health centers, and one vendor.

Florida HIE offers services to its participants for patient look-up, including query or pull from multiple sources through the Connect exchange standard, and Direct secure communications, including provider directory. Patient look-up services will be available through 20 nodes, two of which are live, Fox said.

“If physicians are part of a patient look-up node, they can access a patient’s CCD (continuity of care document),” she said.

Its Direct service has registered 2,300 users, including county health departments.

Physicians and payers will communicate through Direct. “Physicians wanted control over their data and to communicate it with the payers,” Hofmeister said

Among the approaches that Florida HIE is taking to achieve sustainability are to promote and focus on adoption, align HIE benefits with beneficiaries, allocate costs, use open source and keep infrastructure simple and costs low, Fox said.

As part of its marketing to stakeholders, Florida HIE is developing resources on its website, including calculators for ROI and savings on EHR interfaces and reduced use of paper records, “so they can see the dollars and cents that are available if they choose to use this,” Hofmeister said.


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