Working Group Dives into Health Info Exchange After Stitt Promises One for Oklahoma

Aug 30, 2019

This week, Gov. Kevin Stitt promised to roll out a plan aimed at improving Oklahomans’ health later this year, one that will include a statewide exchange for their health data.

There are a couple health information exchanges running in the state. Dr. David Kendrick runs the largest exchange, MyHealth Access Network, and told a legislative health care working group there’s a wealth of federal funds available right now, including a program offering a 90% match for building the exchanges and 75% match for operations.

"There’s some massive programs that have funded this infrastructure to the tune of upwards of $80 million per state to build out these components and technologies, and then sustaining funds," Kendrick said.

Kendrick says 70% of people have health data in two or more places but getting everyone on one electronic medical records system won’t help.

"The problem is, when we take the data and divide it out by [electronic medical record] vendor, what do you think the split is? It’s the same 70/30 split. So, even if everybody were on a particular system, it would not solve this problem," Kendrick said.

The proportion of patients with data in more than one place goes up when a chronic disease is involved.

Kendrick said MyHealth Access participants can access patient records across systems of care, and the system can be used to analyze data for public health initiatives.

Working group chair Rep. Marcus McEntire asked about competing health information exchanges. Kendrick said a few exchanges that have started up eventually rolled into his, which now links thousands of providers.

"This is like the highway system. We shouldn’t compete on this. This is infrastructure, and most states that I look up to, like Arizona, Ohio, Indiana and others have early on realized that this is infrastructure and we should just pick one and go," Kendrick said.

Oklahoma currently has a 10-year plan for a statewide health information exchange.