Forum Session

Health Information Exchange: Building the Infrastructure for Better Care
January 14, 2010


Rob Cunningham, Consultant & Lisa Sprague, MBA


Effective use of health information technology requires data "liquidity," or the capacity for automated transmission of patient information among doctors, hospitals, pharmacies, clinical labs, patients, and others. But while electronic transmission of health insurance claims data is widespread, many obstacles have prevented the routine sharing of clinical information, and many efforts to foster systematic health information exchange have struggled or stalled. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 authorized more than $1 billion to build up the infrastructure for health data exchange. But timelines are tight for implementing the Recovery Act's provisions, and infrastructure development entails many challenges. This Forum session examined current health data exchange activities and strategies to expand them through Recovery Act programs.


Micky Tripathi, PhD, President and Chief Executive Officer, Massachusetts eHealth Collaborative; Gina Perez, President, Advances in Management, Inc.; Lammott du Pont, Senior Manager, Manatt Health Solutions

Slides from the presentations by Dr. Tripathi, Ms. Perez, and Mr. du Pont are available for download. Speakers' biographies are also available.

Related Materials

In August 2009, the Forum released an Issue Brief on the implementation of health IT under the Stimulus Bill (the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009).

Since then, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT issued an interim final rule on standards and certification for health IT, and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services issued a notice of proposed rulemaking on meaningful use of health IT (see the proposed rule, fact sheets, and FAQs). A 60-day comment period (from December 30, 2009) is in effect for each.

For an explanation of acronyms commonly used in health IT discussions, see this list compiled by the Office of the National Coordinator.

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