HIE to go live in July; prepare for patient questions

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keyboard stethoscope_webOn May 23 the state agency responsible for regulating health information exchange–KHIE–held a news conference informing the public that electronic health information exchange services will begin in Kansas effective July 1, 2012. This event may prompt many patients to contact their physician's office to learn whether their physician will be participating in the program, that allows you to send and receive patient information electronically within a secure network. Your office should be prepared to respond whether you plan to participate or not in the exchange and your projected timeframe for participation if appropriate.

The Kansas Medical Society and the Kansas Hospital Association are working together to develop a provider-led, statewide health information exchange, the Kansas Health Information Network (KHIN). KHIN has received the necessary license to operate from KHIE, and development efforts are continuing to go well, with nearly 60 hospitals and 93 clinics representing over 1100 providers already having signed participation agreements.

Please note if you plan to participate, you must modify your Notice of Privacy Practices (NPP) to include language required by KHIE and begin distributing the revised notice along with a KHIE brochure to your patients 30 days prior to the date when you will begin transmitting your patient data with the exchange. The NPP notice and brochure will inform patients that Kansas is an "opt-out" state, meaning that all of their health information will be included and shared through the health information exchange for treatment purposes. The patient has an option to "opt-out" of the exchange by contacting KHIE and completing the proper forms. If they choose to opt-out, then none of their health information will be shared through the exchange except as may be required by law.

KHIE has prepared an informational brochure, a fact sheet, a newsletter and posters to provide information to consumers and providers. You may access this information by visiting the KHIE website. If you have questions or would like additional information, please visit the Kansas Health Information Network or contact Laura McCrary, KHIN Executive Director. You can also reach KHIN by phone at 877.520.5446.

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